Friday 30th of July 2021

trade wars, sanctions and blackmail...


Hong Kong (CNN Business) Shanghai stocks just had their best day in more than three years after comments from the leaders of China and the United States brought investors piling back into the market.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) leaped 5.6% on Monday, its biggest daily percentage gain since July 2015, according to Reuters. That lifted it into a bull market, which is defined as a rise of at least 20% from a recent low.
Some of the encouragement came from US President Donald Trump, who announced that he'll delay a major tariff hike on Chinese exports in order to give the two countries more time to reach a trade deal. Trump tweeted that trade negotiators had made "substantial progress" and that he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping "to conclude an agreement" if the talks continue to advance.
Xi also contributed to the sharp rise with comments over the weekend calling for the development of China's financial industry, which investors interpreted as encouragement to move money into the sector.
Chinese shares took a beating last year from fears about the country's economic slowdown and its trade war with the United States. They have rallied since the start of 2019, in part because of rising hopes of an end to the damaging hostilities between the world's top two economies.
"I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief in the region this morning," Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at online broker Oanda in Singapore, said in a market commentary Monday, referencing the postponement of the US tariff increase. He noted that other Asian economies are "so closely tied to the fortunes of China now that ripples are felt far and wide."
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the US racketeers do not like competition...

The first known use of sanctions dates to 432 BC when General Pericles of Greece imposed sanctions on its neighbor, Megara, in response to the abduction of three women.1 In more recent times, the first U.S. sanctions date back to Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo Act of 1807, which, at the time, prohibited all trade with Europe.2 During the Civil War, Congress passed legislation that prohibited trade with the Confederate States of America.3 Other notable uses of U.S. sanctions include the embargo against Cuba in response to Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959, as well as sanctions levied against Iran in response to the 1979 hostage crisis.

The Office of Foreign Funds Control (FFC) was established during World War II following the German invasion of Norway in 1940. It was intended to prevent Nazis from using funds seized from occupied countries. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the successor to the FFC, was founded in 1950 as a result of China’s involvement in the Korean War. In response, President Truman blocked Chinese and North Korean assets and declared a national emergency.4

To this day, OFAC continues to administer and enforce all U.S. economic sanctions programs.5 Economic sanctions are “U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.”6


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Very few of these US sanctions are sanctioned by the United Nations. They are unilateral decision made by the boffins in Washington to minimise competition in th US rackets... 

UK hypocrisy...

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic collapse.

He continued by talking about the recent attempts to bring ‘aid’ into the country:


[Maduro’s] use of deadly violence against his own people and other concerning acts of aggression to block the supply of desperately needed humanitarian aid are simply repugnant… the Maduro regime’s oppressive policies affect… innocent civilians, including women and children, who lack access to essential medical and other basic supplies…”


He then went on to talk about journalist Jorge Ramos being reportedly detained, later to be released and deported:


As with the lack of freedom given to journalists, other essential freedoms – such as democratic ones – are simply not present in Venezuela… We stand with… Juan Guaidó in pursuit of our shared goal to bring peace and stability to Venezuela.”


We can but wonder what Hickey thinks about the illegal and arbitrary detention and needless suffering of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the best part of a decade courtesy of his own government.

Hickey argued that the only way to achieve peace and stability is by democratic transition through free and fair presidential elections, as demanded by ‘interim President Guaidó’ and the National Assembly, in line with the Venezuelan Constitution.

He stated:


Until this is achieved, the current humanitarian crisis caused by the Maduro regime’s corrupt policies will continue… nothing short of free and fair presidential elections will do.”


In the meantime, Hickey called for additional sanctions against individual members of the Venezuelan government who he said had benefited from corrupt policies.

He concluded that:


The Venezuelan people deserve a better future. They have suffered enough at the hands of the Maduro regime.”



Here are a few facts for Stephen Hickey. In 2018, Maduro was re-elected president. A section of the opposition boycotted the election but the boycott failed: 9,389,056 people voted; 16 parties participated and six candidates stood for the presidency. Maduro won 6,248,864 votes, or 68 per cent.

Renowned journalist John Pilger says that on election day he spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers who told him the process had been entirely fair. There was no fraud and none of the lurid media claims stood up.

So what of the unelected Juan Guaidó whom Hickey calls the “interim president”?

Pilger notes that the Trump administration has presented Guaidó, a pop-up creation of the CIA-front National Endowment for Democracy, as the legitimate President of Venezuela. Guaidó was previously unheard of by 81 percent of the Venezuelan people and has been elected by no one.

And what of the people who are behind him (not ordinary Venezuelan people, but his backers in Washington)? Pilger says:


As his “special envoy to Venezuela” (coup master), Trump has appointed a convicted felon, Elliot Abrams, whose intrigues in the service of Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush helped produce the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and plunge central America into years of blood-soaked misery.”


Talking about the Western media biased reporting on Venezuela, Pilger adds that the country’s democratic record, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen:


The greatest literacy program in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist.”


None of this happened in the warped world of Stephen Hickey either. He paints a wholly distorted picture of the situation in Venezuela, one which lays the blame for economic woes and their consequences at the door of Maduro and his ‘corrupt regime’. But this is a tried and tested strategy: bring a country to its knees and apportion blame on the political leaders of that country.

Countries like Venezuela have to a large extent been trapped by their colonial legacy and have very often become single commodity producers – in this case oil – and find it difficult to expand other sectors. In effect, they have found themselves extremely vulnerable. The US can squeeze the price of the commodity upon which such countries rely, while applying sanctions and cutting off financial lifelines. It then becomes that much easier to lay the blame for the consequences on a ‘corrupt regime’.

Prof Michael Hudson has outlined how debt and the US-controlled international monetary system has backed Maduro into a corner. He argues that Venezuela has become an oil monoculture, with revenue having been spent largely on importing food and other necessities, which it could have produced itself. In the case of food at least, many countries in the Global South have been adversely affected by the ‘globalisation of agriculture’ and have had their indigenous sectors undermined as a result of WTO policies and directives, debt and US-supported geopolitical lending strategies.

However, this is all an inconvenient truth for the likes of Hickey and the Western media. Talking about the BBC, John Pilger notes that it is “too difficult” for that media outlet to include any of this in its reporting:


It is too difficult to report the collapse of oil prices since 2014 as largely the result of criminal machinations by Wall Street. It is too difficult to report the blocking of Venezuela’s access to the US-dominated international financial system as sabotage. It is too difficult to report Washington’s “sanctions” against Venezuela, which have caused the loss of at least $6 billion in Venezuela’s revenue since 2017, including $2 billion worth of imported medicines, as illegal, or the Bank of England’s refusal to return Venezuela’s gold reserves as an act of piracy.”


None of this is up for debate by the BBC or Hickey. He sits in the UN talking about, freedom, democracy and the rights and suffering of ordinary people, while failing to acknowledge the US or the UK’s own role in the denial of freedom and the perpetuation of suffering across the world.


According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. And writing in The Guardianin 2013, Nafeez Ahmed discussed leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, that confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

But this is where Britain and the West’s concerns really lie: facilitating the geopolitical machinations of financial institutions, oil companies, arms manufacturers and profiteers. And it is no different this time around with Venezuela. Ordinary people are mere ‘collateral damage’ left dying in or fleeing war zones that the West and its allies created. The West’s brutal oil and gas wars are twisted as ‘humanitarian’ interventions for public consumption.

In 2014, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray told a meeting at St Andrews University in Scotland that Libya is now a disaster and 15,000 people were killed when NATO (British and French jets) bombed Sirte. The made-for-public narrative about that ‘intervention’ began with some tale about Gadhafi killing his own people, which turned out to be false. Now we are hearing similar about Maduro.

As far as Iraq is concerned, Murray said that he knew for certain that key British officials were fully aware that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction. He said that invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

Over a million people have been killed via the US-led or US-backed attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. But this is the plan: to turn countries into vassal states of the US, or for those that resist to reconstruct (destroy) them into fractured territories.

Any eulogies to morality and humanitarianism must be seen for what they are: part of the ongoing psychological operations being waged on the public to encourage people to regard what is happening in the world as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention. These events are not for one minute to be regarded by the public as the planned brutality of empire and militarism.

Tim Anderson (author of The Dirty War on Syria) argues that where Syria was concerned Western culture in general favoured its worst traditions: “the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention… reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda.”

We are now seeing it again, this time with Venezuela.

We might well ask who is Donald Trump, John Bolton or for that matter Stephen Hickey to dictate and engineer what the future of Venezuela should be? But this is what the US with the UK in support has been doing across the globe for decades. Control of oil is key to current events in Venezuela. But there is also the subtext of destroying any tendencies towards socialism across Latin America (and elsewhere) as well as the need of Western capital to expand into or create new markets: Washington’s hand-picked puppet Juan Guaido will facilitate the process and usher in a programme of ‘mass privatisation’ and ‘hyper-capitalism’.

In many respects, the US has learned its imperialist playbook from its former colonial master, the UK. In the book ‘Late Victorian Holocausts’, the author Mike Davis writes that millions in India were dying of starvation when Lord Lytton (head of the British government in India) said, “There is to be no interference of any kind on the part of government with the object of reducing the price of food”. He dismissed any idea of feeding the starving as “humanitarian hysterics”. There was plenty of food, but it was held back to preserve prices and serve the market.

Indian writer and politician Shashi Tharoor, notes a speech to the British House of Commons in 1935 by Winston Churchill who said that the slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people. And that after almost 200 years of British rule. According to Tharoor, this “squeezing out of life” was realized at the hands of Churchill in the six to seven million Indian deaths in the WW2 Bengali Holocaust.

Despite Hickey’s crocodile tears, hundreds of thousands in various countries are still dying today due to the same imperialist mindset. Humanitarian hysterics are for public consumption as the “squeezing out of life” continues regardless.


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stopping the western thieves...

Caracas will use all legal means available to protect its assets in Europe and the US from illegal seizure, Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told RT. She also spoke about the self-proclaimed 'president' Juan Guaido.

In an exclusive interview with RT, Rodriguez said the Venezuelan government has already taken "concrete legal steps" to claim back the assets of which it was "robbed" by the US and which have been frozen by European banks.

It was reported earlier that the Bank of England had blocked Venezuela's attempts to retrieve $1.2 billion worth of gold in the nation's foreign reserves. Venezuela's self-proclaimed and US-backed 'interim president' Juan Guaido hailed the move as the "protection" of the country's assets.

"We have hired lawyers to protect our interests, first and foremost, it concerns gold which has been unlawfully retained by the Bank of England," Rodriguez said.

The Venezuelan VP also said that Caracas would mount a legal defense against the US move to freeze $7 billion of assets belonging to the state-owned PDVSA oil and natural gas giant and its US subsidiary Citgo.

We have also taken steps for the legal protection of Venezuela. I'm talking about the theft of Venezuela's assets committed by the US. Venezuela has the right to protect its legal interests.

Washington plans to hand over the frozen assets to Guaido, who in turn vowed to appoint an alternative board of directors for the companies.

Speaking of the recently announced decision to move PDVSA's European headquarters from Lisbon to Moscow, Rodriguez called the transfer "rather timely" and in line with Venezuela's expanded cooperation with Russian oil and gas industry. Rodriguez said that in addition to the European HQ, other PDVSA affiliates would relocate to Russia as well.

Guaido's actions are a 'circus at the international level'

The VP has also shared her views on Guaido, denouncing his actions as detrimental to Venezuela's future.

"This person is not only making a joke of himself inside the country, but is now making a circus show at the international level," Rodriguez said, blaming the US-backed opposition lawmaker of colluding with the Trump administration to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.


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as bolton prepares a coalition...

If you think that the only things Venezuela is witnessing are empty supermarkets, violence and anti-government protests, these two foreigners’ first-hand experience may make you think otherwise.

"It is easier to deceive a person, than convince him/ her that he/she has been deceived" — this quote by Mark Twain was recalled by Diego from Argentina, who rose to fame after he visited Venezuela in order to show how things really are in the crisis-hit Latin American country.

However, the posts he made on social media appeared to not strike a chord with netizens:

"Having arrived in Venezuela and shown what I see with my own eyes, I started to receive threats", Diego posted on Twitter.
Judging by the content of his videos, such threats are not coming from the Maduro government's supporters, but more likely from his opponents, with Diego being accused of fabricating his videos and pointing out the high inflation rates across the country.

However, this doesn't stop Diego from visiting not only shopping malls and upscale districts, but also poor residential areas and social housing estates far from downtown, especially in Caracas' southern districts.

"Mass media in my country report that markets in the capital are all empty. I went to check it with my own eyes, and a real surprise was awaiting me", Diego shared, adding that he was baffled to see loads of goods on market and supermarket shelves.

Along with Diego, a Chilean woman named Chilezolanita is currently living in Venezuela. She used her smartphone to capture and then show on Twitter and Facebook what is typically being misrepresented by mass media. Chilezolanita sees Venezuela as looking more like "Chile, than Syria, Iraq or Haiti".

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Earlier, in February, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has described Guaido as a "US puppet" and accused Washington of trying to stage a coup in Venezuela, said that the opposition leader must be tried if he returns. Guaido may now face up to 30 years in prison for violation of the travel ban.

The United States is seeking to form a coalition for a change of government in Venezuela, US National Security Adviser John Bolton has stated.

"We are trying to rally support for the peaceful transition of power from [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro to [self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela] Juan Guaido, whom we recognise as president… I'd like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime. That's what we are trying to do", Bolton said in an interview with CNN.

The self-defeating and dangerous John Bolton (this time, on #Venezuela):

“In this administration we’re not afraid to use the phrase Monroe Doctrine.”

Also says this having just said US wants as broad a coalition as possible to oust Maduro. Reviving Monroe Doctrine won’t do that

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) 3 марта 2019 г.

The statement comes amid a failed attempt by the opposition to deliver US-sponsored humanitarian aid to the country. The move was not authorised by the government and sparked clashes between police and protesters on the Colombian border with Venezuela.

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breaching US sanctions on iran???

The chief financial officer of China's tech giant Huawei is suing Canada over her arrest at the request of the US.

Meng Wanzhou was held in December at Vancouver airport on suspicion of fraud and breaching US sanctions on Iran.

On Friday Ms Meng filed a civil claim against Canada's government, border agency and police for "serious breaches" of her civil rights.

It came on the same day that Canada officially launched Meng Wanzhou's extradition process to the US.

China has attacked Ms Meng's arrest and the extradition process as a "political incident". She denies all the charges against her.


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One of the point here is that "US sanctions" against any country, including Iran, ARE NOT INTERNATIONAL LAWS, only the unilateral decision of the biggest bully on earth. US fuck off!



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president bolton increases the cactus size...

Washington has warned foreign financial institutions that they might face repercussions if they facilitate transactions that benefit the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which the US called “illegitimate.”

“The United States is putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network,”  the US National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a statement released by the White House. He repeated the earlier threat by US special envoy Elliott Abrams.

Washington also once again said that it “strongly supports” what it called “democratic transition in Venezuela” led by the self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, who has been enjoying consistent support from the US and some of its allies ever since he announced his leadership bid.

The national security advisor also said that the US “is pursuing several new diplomatic and economic initiatives in support of that transition” but did not reveal any specific details.

Washington has been long tightening its economic grip on the defiant Latin American state. Apart from hitting Caracas with numerous sanctions that contributed to the economic woes of Venezuela, the US also “confiscated” $30 billion from the Latin American nation, according to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Washington has offered $20 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela, but the Maduro government has rejected it on the grounds that it could be a Trojan horse to smuggle weapons into the country — a tactic the US has used in the region in the past.



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America has a new President. President John Bolton took over in a bloodless coup though a few staff at the WH have bootmarks on their arse. Former President Donald Trump was last seen digging a hole towards the centre of the earth in the hope of escaping to China. Meanwhile, after (nearly) two years of investigation and no result, the Mueller Team is bringing in the big guns: Russian mob prosecutor Daniel Goldman


President John Bolton is also the chief Cactus gardener on planet Zorg. Welcome President John Bolton who is not happy with Russia trying to trick Vice-President Elliot Abrams (former crook):

US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams failed to provide any legal reasons for Swiss banks to freeze Venezuelan government-linked accounts in a prank phone call placed by a famous Russian comedic duo.

"I think everything should be frozen," the voice, allegedly belonging to Abrams, told pranksters Vovan and Lexus who were posing as the President of Switzerland and the chief of the nation's Department of Finance, Ueli Maurer. The men, whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Aleksey Stolyarov, are known for pulling off successful pranks on high-ranking politicians and public figures. They told the media that the conversation with Abrams was recorded in February. 


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We are now in a parallel universe where President Maduro is the only legitimate president on the planet and all the other impostors are trying to get rid of him by the most of illegal ways.

president bolton is now shitting cactuses...

Washington is making extensive preparations to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela. The American authorities intend to adopt the most stringent measures, including the physical elimination of the current president, Nicolás Maduro, in order to promote their interests in the region.

In his recent speech on CNN, U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo stated that the U.S. “will take action” in Venezuela in order to support its opposition leader Juan Guaido. ‘Maduro’s days are numbered’, he added.

Thus, Washington is obviously not interested in a peaceful way of resolving the Venezuelan crisis. In fact, the American scenario does not provide any resolution of the crisis. It all comes down to the financial and political interests of the United States, which are promoted by the American intelligence agencies and special services.

Guaido’s entry to the Venezuelan political arena is caused not by the economic and political crisis in the country but by the U.S. plans to strengthen the influence of Washington in Latin America through its political puppet.


The United States is using its security agencies to overthrow the government in Venezuela. Washington is also planning to ship weapons through countries neighboring Venezuela for their subsequent transfer to the opposition.

Pompeo’s threats followed opposition clashes with police on the border with Colombia. Guaido and his supporters went there as well, ostensibly for receiving humanitarian aid from the U.S. Such coordination and sequence of events raise a lot of questions. Apparently, Washington intends to use Columbia as a foothold for its military intervention in Venezuela. The White House is deploying the U.S. Special Operations forces in the country, despite the discontent among the local population.

The fact is that the Colombian authorities have long been controlled by the United States. Back under Bush’s administration, the country has begun receiving considerable financial assistance, although it had no positive effect on the economic performance of Colombia.

According to Colombian economist Alvaro Pardo, the current economic situation in the country is even worse than in 2003. And it is no better than in Venezuela. But the American authorities haven’t rushed to save the Colombian people and overthrow their government.

It is because the United States always strives to invest its money in the projects it can benefit from.


While Washington spares no expense to support its special services’ operations, it found a way to save money on supporting the Venezuelan opposition.

The U.S has frozen Venezuelan financial assets clearly in order to invest them into making Guaido legitimate leader of Venezuela, which once again confirms the American intention to eliminate the country’s legitimate leader as well as demonstrates the U.S. absolute indifference to the fate of Venezuelan people.


In addition to financial and military assistance, the United States is actively pushing news about the brutality of the Venezuelan current government seeking to undermine its position, wreak havoc while promoting its protégé. Fortunately, many European citizens analyze the information they get and don’t hesitate to express their concerns.

As can be seen, Washington is using all means to overthrow the government non grata justifying its perfidious intervention with such beautiful abstract concepts as “freedom” and “democracy”. The end is not difficult to predict. After all, the United States played out such scenarios more than a few times.


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Now that Trump has been sidelined by President Bolton, you can expect some fireworks. Hopefull god-the-merciful will strike President Bolton with a lightning (or two). In the image of  sour, acid, acidic, tart, bitter, sharp, acetic, vinegary, pungent, acrid, biting, stinging, nasty, angry... I was going to write: "....and I shit a cactus every morning", but I thought this was a bit too rude. With loony President Bolton having taken over the asylum for mad men in Washington, I cannot refrain to tell it as it is (title at top of this comment)...


It's actually sad to see a great country (hum-hum...) such as America going down the siphonless chute of the crapper. It STINKS back at you... and the Democrats are supporting the destruction of Venezuela as well! 

sanctions only gratify the US's sadistic bully mind...

From Venezuela to Iran, Liberia to Belarus, there’s barely a corner of the world not sanctioned by the US. But economic penalties don’t help regime change and unfairly impact civilians, the UN sanctions rapporteur told RT.

When direct military action is out of the question, economic sanctions are often the US’ next weapon of choice. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year was accompanied by the reimposition of crippling sanctions, designed to force Iran to “act like a normal country,” in the words of State Secretary Mike Pompeo. Ditto in Venezuela, where US sanctions targeted President Nicolas Maduro’s oil wealth, and in North Korea, where sanctions have been applied, removed and reapplied in an effort to curb Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions.

All in all, at least 25 percent of the world’s population lives under unilateral US sanctions, their livelihoods impacted by geopolitical decisions made half a world away.

“Those sanctions are considered to be illegitimate according to international law. Those sanctions are not the result of a decision of the [UN] Security Council,” UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Coercive Measures Idriss Jazairy told RT.

The US’ sanctions on Iran, Jazairy continued, are “the most constraining ones in the world.” The Islamic Republic’s aviation, banking, energy, shipping and military sectors are all affected, while third parties are forbidden from doing business with Tehran. While Trump pulled out of the Iran deal on the grounds that Tehran was violating its conditions, the US’ intelligence agencies “do not believe” that Iran was then or is now pursuing a nuclear weapon, according to their yearly report.


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the first rule of holes is to stop digging...

The first rule of holes, as everyone knows, is to stop digging, but judging from Trump’s announcement today he doesn’t understand that he is in a hole, much less how he got there. We are witnessing the results of Trump’s constant abuse of sanctions as a foreign policy tool, and it should be obvious by now that the administration resorts to using sanctions simply so that they can be seen as “doing something.” The policy of economic war and collective punishment has failed, but the administration has overcommitted to it so much that they can’t imagine reversing course.


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sanctions are economic terrorism to prepare for lootism...


... the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russia's Rosneft Trading S.A. and its head Didier Casimiro for allegedly handling Venezuelan oil shipments.

"Ultimately that's the aim - to advance the US economy at the expense of everybody else," de Zayas, formerly a UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, said on Wednesday.

Washington intensified sanctions last January after US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela. Twice democratically-elected Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro accused Guaido and the Trump administration of trying to overthrow Caracas to seize the country's natural resources.

De Zayas said the latest move is part of Washington's bid to try and topple - so far unsuccessfully, Maduro's government. The new sanctions imposed on Rosneft were part of this strategy to isolate and impoverish Venezuela, de Zayas said.

"Sanctions are economic terrorism — illegal because the consequences constitute collective punishment.

Sanctions kill," the diplomat said.

A report by Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Marc Weisbrot indicated that in the year 2018 an estimated 40,000 Venezuelans died as a consequence of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies, de Zayas noted.

US President Donald Trump was following a money-oriented policy towards Venezuela, de Zayas explained.

"Ultimately the goal is to destabilize Venezuela, create chaos, impose Juan Guaido as president and then proceed with privatization and the great looting of Venezuela's natural wealth," he said. "Rosneft is only a small facet in the looting scenario."

The US economic sanctions were contrary to the UN Charter, contrary to customary international law and contrary to principles of free trade and free navigation, de Zayas emphasized.

"It is non-conventional war driven by greed. I can hardly call that 'politics' - it is Wild West banditry," he said.

The United States accuses Rosneft Trading S.A., a Swiss-based subsidiary of Russia's oil giant Rosneft, of handling Venezuela's oil exports in circumvention of American sanctions and the company's president of being the main European intermediary to help Maduro survive the impact of sanctions.


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