The economist Jesús Faría, said Tuesday that the cost of US sanctions to the economic and financial system of the country, lead to the great inflation that today affects Venezuelan people.During an interview on a private channel, he said the sanctions have economically caused a cost that exceeds 100 billion dollars, “that comes the oil we cannot produce, export, the money that is outside the country, as well as companies seized and expropriated. Which are being used by those who promote coups and military intervention from outside. ”
He stressed that those 100 billion dollars, is what has cost the sanctions and blockages to the country, “is what constitutes the main problem and obstacle to solve all the daily difficulties that affect the country.”
Faría, said , Juan Guaidó and his team, are co-responsible for the current situation in the country, noting that the United States government applies a criminal and brutal blockade of that nature with all the intention and purpose, “something that they have already recognized from the most brazen way. ”
He said that these people are promoters of sanctions against the country, something that has to be categorically punished by the people through the votes.
Venezuela Files ICC Lawsuit over US Sanctions
Venezuela set in motion legal proceedings on Thursday to have the US government investigated at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Speaking at The Hague, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the potential lawsuit was aimed at Washington’s unilateral coercive measures, or sanctions, which he described as a “crime against humanity” and a “weapon of mass destruction.”
The request to open a preliminary investigation was received by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, whose team will now evaluate if there is a legal basis for a full enquiry. It is unclear, however, if the ICC will proceed given that the United States is not a member of the body and the international court tends not to rule on inter-state disputes.
The ICC is currently carrying out a preliminary investigation into President Nicolas Maduro after Venezuela’s right-wing opposition and a handful of US-aligned governments filed a suit accusing him of crimes against humanity in September 2018.
Upon introducing a 60-page supporting document detailing the allegations against the US government last week, Arreaza urged ICC prosecutors to take the “historic” case as soon as possible, arguing that “the longer the action takes, the more suffering will be caused [by the sanctions regime], and more people will be affected.”
US sanctions against Venezuela formally began under the US President Barack Obama in 2015, and were greatly intensified by his successor, Donald Trump, who imposed economic sanctions in 2017.
In January 2019, Washington decreed a crippling oil embargo, as well as slapping direct sanctions against the country’s food import, gold, and banking sectors later in the year.
A sweeping ban on all dealings with Venezuelan state entities was announced last August, which paved the way for secondary sanctions against third parties. Most recently, the US unveiled sanctions against the Venezuelan state airline CONVIASA.
US allies, including right-leaning regional governments part of the Lima Group as well as the EU, have also applied sanctions, but most have shown reluctance to directly target Venezuela’s economy.
The Venezuelan government has frequently denounced that the sanctions regime blocks the country’s free access to international markets and obstructs the import of vital goods such as food and medicine, exacerbating the socio-economic problems in the country.
In a press conference Saturday, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez claimed that sanctions have caused US $116 billion in losses for the nation.
While he did not offer further details to explain this figure, the minister equated it to what Venezuela would normally spend on all public and private sector imports over six years, the cost of 11 million social homes or running the subsidised CLAP food program for 152 years.
Last April, the US-based Centre for Economic and Policy Research released a report finding sanctions to constitute a form of “collective punishment” responsible for as many as 40,000 deaths in the country between 2017 and 2018. Shortly before the August general embargo, Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodriguez estimated that sanctions cost the country US $16.9 billion per year, resulting in rising mortality rates.
Numerous multilateral bodies, including the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement, have also condemned US sanctions as being illegal under international law.