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The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | August 1st, 2014


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The US's toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

The Obama admin­is­tra­tion passed a few sanc­tions against Venezuela this week. No, the sanc­tions had noth­ing to do with the Pollo and Venezuela’s involve­ment in the drug trade.

Instead, the sanc­tions are against indi­vid­u­als linked to the bloody repres­sion of stu­dent pro­test­ers this year. In our days of “smart diplo­macy,” this is what passes for sanc­tions these days — Andres Oppen­heimer points out:

  • These are not eco­nomic sanc­tions against Venezuela, but against about two dozen officials, including cab­i­net min­is­ters, pres­i­den­tial advis­ers and judges
  • The offi­cials remain unidentified
  • They don’t go after the tar­geted offi­cials’ finan­cial assets.

Instead, Oppen­heimer states,

They should seek to freeze the U.S. assets of Venezue­lan offi­cials and gov­ern­ment cronies involved in human rights abuses, and expose the for­tunes they have amassed since late Pres­i­dent Hugo Chávez rose to power 14 years ago.

Smart diplo­macy” dic­tates a tooth­less travel ban against offi­cials involved in actions that left 43 dead, 50 doc­u­mented cases of tor­ture, and more than 2,000 unlaw­ful deten­tions — offi­cials that will remain nameless.

Marco Rubio and Robert Menen­dez call for sanc­tions against Venezuela: “We need to sanc­tion their assets.” Their bill calls for freez­ing U.S. bank accounts, U.S. stocks held in any U.S. and for­eign banks, and U.S. real estate belong­ing to the offi­cials. Oppen­heimer points out,

Other Venezue­lan human rights vio­la­tors’ assets should be traced by the U.S. Jus­tice and Trea­sury Depart­ments through mutual assis­tance treaties with other nations.

As for Venezuela’s involve­ment with the FARC, Iran, Hezbol­lah, and the such … crick­ets chirping.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

The Obama administration passed a few sanctions against Venezuela this week. No, the sanctions had nothing to do with the Pollo and Venezuela’s involvement in the drug trade.

Instead, the sanctions are against individuals linked to the bloody repression of student protesters this year. In our days of “smart diplomacy,” this is what passes for sanctions these days – Andres Oppenheimer points out:

  • These are not economic sanctions against Venezuela, but against about two dozen officials, including cabinet ministers, presidential advisers and judges
  • The officials remain unidentified
  • They don’t go after the targeted officials’ financial assets.

Instead, Oppenheimer states,

They should seek to freeze the U.S. assets of Venezuelan officials and government cronies involved in human rights abuses, and expose the fortunes they have amassed since late President Hugo Chávez rose to power 14 years ago.

“Smart diplomacy” dictates a toothless travel ban against officials involved in actions that left 43 dead, 50 documented cases of torture, and more than 2,000 unlawful detentions – officials that will remain nameless.

Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez call for sanctions against Venezuela: “We need to sanction their assets.” Their bill calls for freezing U.S. bank accounts, U.S. stocks held in any U.S. and foreign banks, and U.S. real estate belonging to the officials. Oppenheimer points out,

Other Venezuelan human rights violators’ assets should be traced by the U.S. Justice and Treasury Departments through mutual assistance treaties with other nations.

As for Venezuela’s involvement with the FARC, Iran, Hezbollah, and the such . . . crickets chirping.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

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