Latin American condemnation of US sanctions against Venezuela
News from Nicaragua | Monday, 16 March 2015 |
‘Only the unity of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean will give us the strength to defend peace and sovereignty’. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega
In an ominous indication of the rapid escalation of US aggression against Venezuela, on 9 March President Barack Obama declared that the ‘policies and actions of the Government of Venezuela, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and [I] hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.’
This declaration is identical to the one issued by President Ronald Reagan on 1 May, 1985 against Nicaragua as part of his determination to destroy the Sandinista Revolution.
Thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets of Managua on 16 March in solidarity with Venezuela. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, who attended the rally, was awarded Nicaragua’s highest recognition, the Order of Augusto C. Sandino. The award is symbolic of the struggle of Nicaragua against US expansionism.
Ortega highlighted the history of US intervention in Central America and pointed out that ‘the only threat that Venezuela poses to the US is the justice and sovereignty epitomised in the Bolivarian Revolution.’
President Maduro called for at least 10 million signatures to a letter to his US counterpart Barack Obama demanding the withdrawal of the Executive Order stating that Venezuela poses ‘an extraordinary risk’ to the security of the US.
On 14 March, the foreign ministers of the 12-nation* UNASUR attacked Washington’s move during an emergency summit in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito. “We call upon the United States to evaluate and implement dialogue as an alternative”, the ministers said in a joint statement.
The statement went on to state that the actions by the United States amounted to “an interventionist threat to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”
*UNASUR comprises Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Columbia, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Chile and Ecuador. It was established in December 2004.