An action bulletin from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
The US government has recently imposed sanctions on the Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA, which Venezuela has described as “a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the UN.” More information and responses are below – including from ALBA and the actor Sean Penn – and you can support Venezuela by asking your MP to support our statement against the sanctions, by clicking here
The statement has already been endorsed by numerous cultural figures including Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Pilger, trade union general secretaries, writers, academics, student leaders, community representatives, peace campaigners and others. It reads: “We oppose the decision of US government to impose sanctions on the Venezuela state-owned oil company PDVSA, when no action of any kind undertaken by Venezuela contradicts any principle of international law. The sanctions have been described by Venezuela as “a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the UN,” and rejected by Venezuela’s elected National Assembly.
This is the latest in a series of violations of Venezuela’s sovereignty in recent years. It reflects an increasingly hostile agenda being driven by the Republican Right, following its successes at last November’s US elections, which have led to it controlling a number of important foreign affairs committees.
This hostility includes a stated desire by leading right-wing republicans to add Venezuela to the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism” and has seen substantial increases in funding of Venezuela opposition groups. It also comes within the context of a build up of US military bases in the region in recent years, which many see as a threat to the region’s stability.
We believe that in the run-up to Presidential Elections in December 2012, it is up to the Venezuelan people alone to decide their own future, free from external interference, and call on all governments to respect this right.”
Remember to ask your MP to oppose the sanctions by clicking here !
Opposition to US Sanctions on Venezuela Grows:
In Venezuela and around the world, an increasing number of countries, organisations and prominent individuals have expressed their opposition to the sanctions:
- A Venezuelan government statement (read it in full here ,) in response to the US announcement, expressed “its strongest rejection to this decision since it constitutes a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and reaffirmed the country’s right to self-determination.
- An ALBA statement demanded “the United States ceases once and all for the aggression against Venezuela, [and]to give unconditional respect to the decisions we take in the full exercise of our sovereignty.” It also reiterate the will of ALBA “to consolidate social justice and solidarity as the guiding principles of Latin American integration” (read the full text here .)
- Nicaragua and Ecuador’s ambassadors to the Organization of American States used the opening of the 41st session of the OAS to condemn the sanctions. Nicaraguan Ambassador Denis Moncada accused the US of attempting to “destabilize regional peace and security,” whilst Maria Isabel Salvador, from Ecuador, expressed the “energetic rejection” of her country, calling the sanctions an “attack against all the [Latin American and Caribbean member] ALBA countries.”
- The acclaimed US actor and progressive activist Sean Penn (see his full letter here to Hilary Clinton) has written a piece condemning the sanctions and commenting that, “the American people have grown accustomed to hearing the Venezuelan president referred to as a dictator, not only by media representatives but by members of the leadership in both parties,” adding that “this is a defamation, not only to President Chavez, but also to the majority of Venezuelan people; poor people who have elected him president time and time again.”