US Sanctions on Venezuela Responsible for 40,000 Deaths - Economist

© Photo : YouTube/alchymediatvProtesters rally in Washington, DC, supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Protesters rally in Washington, DC, supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Some 40,000 Venezuelans have died in less than two years as a result of illegal US sanctions that were designed to effect regime change, a study co-authored by world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs revealed on Thursday.

"American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people… Among the results of broad economic sanctions implemented by the Trump administration since August 2017 [are] an estimated more than 40,000 deaths," the study, issued by the US-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, said.

Sachs is the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a former special adviser to the UN Secretary-General. The Economist ranked Sachs as among the three most influential living economists and Time magazine twice named him as one of the 100 most influential world leaders.

A Russian Ilyushin Il-62M Air Force plane, one of the two Russian military planes that arrived with troops and equipment to Venezuela last weekend, sits on the tamrac at Simon Bolivar International Airport on March 29, 2019 in Maiquetia, Vargas state, northern Venezuela - Sputnik International
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The report, co-authored by Centre for Economic and Policy Research Co-Director Mark Weisbrot, said the US sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine while increasing disease and mortality rates.

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An estimated 80,000 people with HIV have not had anti-retroviral treatment since 2017 and many of the 4 million people with diabetes and hypertension are unable to obtain insulin or cardiovascular medicine, the report said.

The report predicted tens of thousands of additional deaths in Venezuela as the result of the Trump administration sanctions that were intensified after US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido in late January illegally tried to declare himself president.

The report said that the US economic sanctions being imposed on Venezuela are illegal under international law because they fit the definition of collective punishment.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro waves to supporters during a rally in support of the government in Caracas, Venezuela April 6, 2019. - Sputnik International
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With the introduction of new sanctions in January, Venezuelan oil production has fallen by 431,000 barrels per day or 36.4 percent, depriving the nation of the ability to improve economic conditions, the report added. The Venezuelan government derives more than 90 percent of export earnings from the oil trade.

On Thursday, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said the United States expects billions of dollars’ worth of investments to flow to Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro is removed.

READ MORE: US Expects Billions of Dollars to Flow to Venezuela After Maduro Ouster — Abrams

Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a US puppet. Russia, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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