US Chamber of Commerce Asks Biden to Modify Illegal Sanctions Policy Towards Venezuela

On Thursday, September 9, the US Chamber of Commerce released a statement asking the US government to modify the illegal sanctions policy against Venezuela. The statement called the implementation of coercive measures a “failure” that has deeply affected Venezuela’s energy sector.

However, the statement still relies on the same anti-Chavista US narrative that led to the application of these measures in the first place. “While well-intentioned in their aim to rid the longsuffering Venezuelan people of Maduro, the ultimate failure of sweeping cross-sectoral sanctions to spur quick democratic transition unleashed a cascade of negative unintended consequences,” reads the statement.

These illegal sanctions came after the end of US and European companies’ participation in the oil and gas market of Venezuela. Clearly, these coercive measures apply penalties as an obstacle to Venezuelan business both in the United States and in other parts of the world.

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The statement adds that the abrupt withdrawal of transnational corporations has practically forced them to abandon their investments and assets in Venezuela, which has strengthened President Nicolás Maduro. Furthermore, maintaining the economic activity developed by PDVSA and its subsidiaries have resulted in greater cooperation of Venezuela with China, Iran and Russia.

The document also notes that “time is of the essence to overhaul a sanctions architecture that has helped strengthen Maduro, deepened Venezuela’s dire economic and humanitarian crisis, brought harm to US businesses, and undermined our national security. ”

It repeatedly mentions how domestic politics has responded, by noting that “when Executive Branch policy is the object of scrutiny from both the left and the right on Capitol Hill, it’s usually a sign that significant course correction is warranted.”

Below are excerpts from the statement released by the Venezuelan right-wing website Versión Final, with additional content and contextualization by Orinoco Tribune’s editorial team. The full statement can be read here:

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• The Unitary Platform and representatives of Maduro’s government met again last weekend in search of a solution to the country’s unsolved political crisis.

• “There’s no question that elements of the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions strategy—those that featured targeted seizure and/or freezing of personal assets of Maduro and his inner circle—had an impact in getting the regime to the table.” This is a remake of the same old US narrative repeating that illegal sanctions affect Maduro and his “inner circle” when, in reality, the blockade is affecting millions of Venezuelans. However, in the long run, Venezuela is showing its capacity to overcome those sanctions and their negative effects.

• “When Executive Branch policy is the object of scrutiny from both the left and the right on Capitol Hill, it’s usually a sign that significant course correction is warranted. Such is the case with the broad set of punitive economic measures associated with ‘maximum pressure’ that have proven to be more blunt instrument than surgical tool.”

• “While well-intentioned in their aim to rid the longsuffering Venezuelan people of Maduro, the ultimate failure of sweeping cross-sectoral sanctions to spur quick democratic transition unleashed a cascade of negative unintended consequences.”

• “Time is of the essence to overhaul a sanctions architecture that has helped strengthen Maduro, deepened Venezuela’s dire economic and humanitarian crisis, brought harm to US businesses, and undermined our national security.”

 

Featured image: US Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington DC. Photo: Greg Nash

(La IguanaTV) with Orinoco Tribune content

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

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