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UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution Rejecting US Sanctions

An oil pumpjack painted with the colors of the Venezuelan flag is seen in Lagunillas, Venezuela January 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters An oil pumpjack painted with the colors of the Venezuelan flag is seen in Lagunillas, Venezuela January 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted Saturday a resolution condemning the imposition of unilateral coercive measures (sanctions) by the United States and its allies against Venezuela and other member states.

The draft resolution was approved with 28 votes in favor, 14 against and five abstentions, and was presented by Venezuela and Palestine on behalf of the Movement of Non-aligned Countries (NAM), except Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Peru, during the OHCHR’s 41st session. 

“I am grateful for the overwhelming support of the member states of the UN Human Rights Council for the resolution presented by the presidency of NAM in favor of Venezuela. A victory that expands international cooperation and rejects imperial sanctions,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted Sunday. 

The document also reaffirms the “inalienable right” of every State “to choose freely and develop, in accordance with the sovereign will of its people, its own political, social, economic and cultural systems, without interference from any other State or non-State actor,” in strict conformity with international law. 

In May, the U.N’s Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of sanctions, Idriss Jazairy, expressed that the use of economic sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran for political purposes violates human rights and international law.

Yet this latest resolution comes at a key moment for Venezuela as its government has systematically rejected the report presented by the OHCHR’s Michelle Bachelet. In it, the High Commissioner omits major positive policies in Maduro’s administration and fails to mention the simultaneous economic war being thrust upon the country by the U.S. government.

Since 2017, Trump’s administration has imposed 150 sanctions on individuals and entities of Venezuela, which, as the U.N. resolution reads, “hinder the well-being of the population of the affected countries and create obstacles to the full realization of their human rights.”

Just in the Latin American country, sanctions have resulted in the direct deaths of over 40,000 citizens due to lack of food and medicine, as well as a loss of around US$116 billion for Venezuela, according to the country’s Vice President of Planning Ricardo Menendez.

  • Countries: Latin America

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