The Biden administration is using the sanctions as leverage, harming ordinary Venezuelans. Tell Biden to lift the sanctions now!
U.S. sanctions are still wreaking havoc on Venezuela. Last month, a one-year-old died after he couldn’t get a liver transplant because the health program that might have saved him has been blocked by the U.S. Recently, it was reported that Venezuela has been unable to receive all of its COVID vaccine allotment through Covax because UBS bank blocked the transaction. Thankfully the Biden administration issued a new order that should facilitate Venezuela's procurement of vaccines, but it's not enough.
The sanctions that were doing the most damage to ordinary Venezuelans were imposed by Trump, but the Biden administration has since said they will be used as leverage in negotiations between the Maduro government and opposition in Venezuela, despite the fact that President Biden himself ordered a review of sanctions on his first day in office. We have to pressure him to do the right thing.
“Finding food, finding medicine, it’s really hard to live, finding gas, finding sources of livelihood – that puts a lot of pressure on people,” said Venezuelan researcher Lorena Giménez on a CODEPINK Congress call in March. The sanctions affect every aspect of the lives of Venezuelans. In that way they’re like a pandemic, but a pandemic that’s been happening since 2015. Sanctions have caused an estimated 100,000 deaths, as well as a 99% drop in oil revenue. Latest polls show that 80% of Venezuelans are against the sanctions.
The sanctions are illegal and immoral. Their impacts have been studied by United Nations special rapporteurs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, among others. They all agree that the U.S. sanctions are hurting Venezuelans. President Biden could end these sanctions via Executive Order, yet his administration finds them necessary to maintain “pressure” on the Maduro government.
Recently, Congressman Jim McGovern sent a letter to President Biden asking him to lift the economic sanctions and not to use them as a bargaining chip. This is exciting news - it shows that the narrative on the Venezuela sanctions is changing. Now’s the time to start pushing the White House to change this cruel policy!
In radical solidarity,
Leonardo, Michelle, Teri, Medea and the CODEPINK team.