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    Locals gather at a street food cart during a blackout in Caracas, Venezuela March 29, 2019

    'US Action Against Venezuela is Genocide, Mass Extermination of People' - Journo

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    US sanctions against Venezuela have led to the death of 40,000 people in the country in 2017-2018, according to a study carried out by Columbia University economics professor Jeffrey Sachs.

    In a report, published by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Sachs and his co-author, fellow economist Mark Weisbrot examine how sanctions imposed by Washington after August 2017 have affected the lives of ordinary citizens.
    Sachs and Weisbort argue that these sanctions have caused and continue to cause harm and threaten Venezuelans' lives and well-being:

    "These sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory," the paper says.

    READ MORE: US, Venezuelan Military Had Reached Secret Deal on Maduro's Arrest — Reports

    The economists also stressed that a series of sanctions launched in 2017 as well as harsher ones rolled out in January 2019 have made it very hard for Venezuelans to have access to food, medicine and medical equipment.

    "The sanctions implemented in 2019, including the recognition of a parallel government, […] cut off Venezuela from most of the international payments system, thus ending much of the country's access to these essential imports including medicine and food, even those that could normally be bought with available money. There is no doubt that all of these sanctions since August 2017 have had severe impacts on human life and health."

    Another important aspect highlighted in the report is that the US is breaking international law as well as violating the principles of the UN by imposing sanctions:

    "They are illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well," the economists wrote.

    Venezuelan journalist Iván Padilla Bravo, commenting on the study, told Sputnik that Washington is waging a war on Venezuela:

    "Such unconventional attacks are not perceived by people as war, when in reality it is a war that's just as bloody as any other. The only difference is that there are no human corpses scattered around city squares, but they appear gradually in hospitals due to hunger, when the production and distribution of food is difficult, and because it is impossible to buy medicine abroad."

    The journalist explained that people who are dying due the reduced availability of medication and food are victims of American policies:

    "As the United States goes on the offensive in its war against Venezuela and denies us access to medication, patients die much faster. And these bodies also need to be counted and taken into account."

    The people in Venezuela "feel the damage from the war, a quiet one, but terribly bloody, like most wars," he said, adding that "Venezuela will continue to fight for peace."

    READ MORE: ‘Today, Venezuela. Tomorrow, Iran?': Gabbard Slams Washington's War Rhetoric

    "You can call this a genocide. This is a mass extermination of people. […] These silent wars are aimed at exterminating peoples and cannot be called anything else," the journalist noted, comparing the US action against Venezuela with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, contending they are only different in method but pursue the same goal of human annihilation.

    "The US is trying to eradicate our population in order to make it easier for them to get to the riches of our country. But we say to them with confidence: No pasarán! (" You will never pass!"), Mr. Bravo concluded.

    The crisis in Venezuela began when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president on January 23, two weeks after president Nicolas Maduro's inauguration for a second terms following elections in May 2018. The US, Canada, some Latin American and European nations were quick to recognize Guaido as the new legitimate leader of Venezuela and have supported him in his attempts to oust Maduro from power. Russia, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and other countries around the world urged non-interference in Venezuela's internal affairs.

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

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