[News] Venezuela: Arreaza Slams US for 'Criminal' Blockade

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Fri Apr 26 14:44:40 EDT 2019


  Venezuela: Arreaza Slams US for 'Criminal' Blockade

April 26, 2019

The United States Treasury sanctioned Venezuelan Minister of Foreign 
Affairs Jorge Arreaza 
who condemned the move and denounced what he described as "criminal" 
acts by the U.S. against the oil-rich Latin American country.

    US Sanctions Killed Over 40,000 Venezuelans Since 2017

The Office of Foreign Assets Control, a financial intelligence and 
enforcement agency of Treasury Department, designated Jorge Arreaza and 
Judge Carol Bealexis Padilla de Arretureta as targets of fresh sanctions 
April 26.

"There are reactions that confirm that we are on the right path and give 
us more STRENGTH to fight. Yesterday at the UN, we irrefutably denounced 
the US criminal blockade against Venezuela. Today the Trump 
administration responds with desperation against us. The TRUTH hurts!" 
Arreaza tweeted Friday just after the U.S. treasury made the announcement.

At a United Nations meeting Thursday, Arreaza said that the unilateral 
sanctions imposed by the United States are not against officials, but 
against the general population.

The same day, a study co-authored by world-renowned economics 
professor at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, and co-founder 
of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Mark Weisbrot, 
was released and found that U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela have led 
to the unnecessary medical deaths of over 40,000 Venezuelans since 
August 2017.

“The sanctions are depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, 
medical equipment, food and other essential imports,” write Weisbrot and 
Sachs. “This is illegal under international laws and treaties that the 
U.S. has signed. Congress should move to stop it,” insist the experts.

Arreaza reported that in the coming days President Nicolas Maduro will 
announce the creation of a registry to "keep track of the effects our 
people are suffering as a result of the blockade" imposed by the U.S. 
President Donald Trump's administration.

The report also indicates that the Venezuelan government is unable to 
access over US$20 billion of its own funds and gold because of the U.S. 

    Some reactions confirm that we walk the right path. It gives us more
    STRENGTH for the struggle. Yesterday, we denounced the US criminal
    blockade against Venezuela at the UN. Today, the Trump
    administration responds with desperation against us. TRUTH hurts!

    — Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) April 26, 2019

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin claimed Friday in an official press 
release that “the United States will not stand by and watch as the 
illegitimate Maduro regime starves the Venezuelan people of their 
wealth, humanity, and right to democracy.”

“(The) Treasury will continue to target corrupt Maduro insiders, 
including those tasked with conducting diplomacy and carrying out 
justice on behalf of this illegitimate regime. This Administration 
stands with the Venezuelan people, and alongside an international 
coalition committed to holding accountable those who are responsible for 
Venezuela’s tragic decline,” he added.

In an advisory released September 20, 2017, just after the Trump 
administration doubled down on sanctions that began during the Barack 
Obama presidency, the U.S. Treasury Department said: "Venezuela faces 
severe economic and political circumstances due to the rupture of 
democratic and constitutional order by the government and policy 
choices.Endemic corruption 
such as that seen in Venezuela, can further damage its economic growth 
and stability."

According to the CEPR report the sanctions have blocked an "estimated 
80,000 people with HIV" to not have access to their antiretroviral 
treatment since 2017. "Another 4 million with diabetes and hypertension 
... cannot obtain insulin or cardiovascular medicine," because of U.S. 

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