Former UN Rapporteur on Human Rights: US Sanctions Have Killed More Than 100 Thousand Venezuelans
Catastrophic death and massive emigration are due to Washington’s financial suffocation and blockade of the socialist-governed country.
“Unilateral coercive measures constitute a crime against humanity.”
The Swiss-American historian and Human Rights expert, Alfred de Zayas, said that more than 100,000 Venezuelans have died as a result of the sanctions implemented by the United States government and that such deaths were due to the impossibility of timely access to medicines.
De Zayas, who served as an independent expert for the United Nations Human Rights Council for the promotion of an international democratic and egalitarian order, participated on Wednesday in the forum “Unilateral Coercive Measures as a crime against humanity: The case of Venezuela”, held in Geneva, Switzerland, and which was attended by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, as well as other academics specializing in international law.
Referring to the effects of unilateral sanctions and citing economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot, the professor said that considering only the year 2018, 40,000 of those deaths were caused by the sanctions. For that reason, he does not hesitate to affirm: “February 13 is a key day in the Venezuelan case. Unilateral coercive measures kill, I found in my report, constitute a crime against humanity.”
“Such deaths were due to the impossibility of timely access to medicines.”
On the other hand, the historian also alluded to Venezuelan migration. In his opinion, “the migratory flows of Venezuela have their origin in financial suffocation, in the blockade. That is the cause and they want to ignore it, they seek to blame the victim”, in reference to the criminalization of Venezuelan migration and other xenophobic practices that are growing in some countries of Latin America, as well as the almost hegemonic tendency to blame the government of President Nicolás Maduro and even that of his predecessor, Commander Hugo Chávez, for being responsible for the crisis and forcing the exit of millions of Venezuelans.
For de Zayas, the brakes on coercive measures implemented against the government and people of Venezuela, denounced last week by Foreign Minister Arreaza before the International Court of Justice as crimes against humanity, is the action of UN Human Rights Council from a multilateral perspective. Only this would prevent more vulnerable people from dying.
“We must save multilateralism, we must demand the Human Rights Council provide advice, the necessary technical assistance to the Venezuelan people, to prevent more vulnerable people from losing their lives,” he said.
This article previously appeared in the Orinoco Tribune.
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