23:47 GMT28 November 2020
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    On 12 March, National Security Adviser John Bolton yet again issued threats against states and entities backing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Speaking to Sputnik, journalist and award-winning filmmaker John Pilger shared his views on the legitimacy of US sanctions and weighed the chance of the EU following suit.

    The Trump administration has repeatedly signalled that it is ready to impose unilateral sanctions against countries that continue to support Venezuela's legitimate President Nicolas Maduro, despite Washington's attempts to legitimise self-declared interim President Juan Guaido.  

    "The United States will use its economic tools to constrict the ability for Maduro and his cronies to access financial resources and currency. This includes taking actions against financial institutions that are facilitating transactions for the illegitimate regime", National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted on 6 March.

    ​When asked whether Bolton's threats are ever legitimate, John Pilger, a journalist and award-winning filmmaker, responded laconically: "No".

    "The statement by the US special rapporteur on Venezuela, Alfred Maurice de Zayas, has been ignored by the so-called international community and its media", Pilger told Sputnik. "Following his investigations, he makes clear that the US campaign of regime change and sanctions is, by any measure of international law, criminal. Clearly the Venezuelan government and the military recognise this and will not collude with a criminal action against their own people".

    On 23 February, a month after the US openly backed Guaido, prompting a domino effect among its partners and allies, Zayas, the former UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (2012-2018), published an open letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Right Michelle Bachelet, urging them to visit Venezuela and "make concrete proposals for mediation and peace".

    To date, about 50 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America have thrown their weight behind Guaido, while Russia, China, Cuba and much of the rest of the international community are standing with Maduro.

    "As for the rest of us, we should regard US actions as both gross and criminal, the mark of an uncivilised state", the award-winning filmmaker stressed. "This cannot be glossed over entirely by a rapacious media campaign which, under the terms of Nuremberg, is itself on the edge of criminality".

    Meanwhile, on 12 March, Bolton stated that insurance companies and flag carriers facilitating oil shipments from Venezuela to Cuba are now "on notice" after the disempowered Venezuelan National Assembly decreed the suspension of oil exports to Cuba following the collapse of the national electrical grid.

    ​For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pinned the blame on Moscow and Havana for the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

    Earlier, on 11 March, Russia' Evrofinance Mosnarbank came into the cross hairs of the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). According to the US Treasury, all Evrofinance Mosnarbank property, as well as any entities in the US or in possession or control of US persons, were blocked and must be reported to the OFAC.

    The question then arises whether the EU countries that backed Guaido as Venezuelan leader will support the US idea of sanctions.

    "The EU was created for a number of undeclared reasons, not least so that the United States could impose its will on Europe", Pilger underscored. "As repeated acts of EU obeisance to US foreign 'policy' has demonstrated, this has been successful. The EU has little standing in the wider world because of this predictable relationship with the US and its extreme economic positions. If there was a legitimate debate about Brexit, these truths would be top of the agenda".

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    regime change, sanctions, US Treasury Department, Juan Guaido, Alfred de Zayas, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Donald Trump, Nicolas Maduro, Cuba, US, Russia, Latin America, Venezuela
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