European Union Eases Some Illegal Sanctions Against Venezuela

Orinoco Tribune, November 28, 2023 —

The European Union (EU) agreed to relax some of the sanctions imposed on Venezuela, with the objective of “facilitating organizations to deliver humanitarian aid,” in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations.

The group currently consisting of 27 countries agreed to introduce exceptions to the asset freeze that the EU maintains against Venezuela, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Guinea, Lebanon, Burma, Nicaragua, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.

Referring to United Nations (UN) resolution 2664, passed in 2022, the EU can carry out financial transactions if the objective is to ensure humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations. For many analysts, these actions by the EU, whereby it alleges to that it acts to alleviate economic harm in response to the economic crises that its own sanctions regime has created, are ironic and extremely contradictory.

“Those who are considered humanitarian actors by resolution 2664 of the United Nations Security Council and the agencies, as humanitarian partners of the EU, may carry out financial transactions with persons or entities that appear on the sanctions list if the objective is to ensure humanitarian assistance in vulnerable populations,” reads the EU agreement.

This relaxation of sanctions is a setback to what was announced weeks ago by the EU after it extended the sanctions package imposed against Venezuela for six months. The EU went so far as to condition its relaxation of sanctions on the same claims—of lifting political disqualifications to some far-right politicians—that the US has repeatedly specified.

On November 13, the EU Council approved extending the sanctions imposed against Venezuela since 2017 until May 14, 2024. These measures include the arms embargo and sanctions against individuals that prevents some government officials from traveling to EU countries.

Under decision 2023/2498, the European bloc stated that the sanctions “could be reversed based on progress in favor of the reestablishment of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”

Many recent EU moves in relation to illegal sanctions against Venezuela are driven by the energy crisis affecting the region after the derailed and failed sanctions on Russia following the launch of its special military operation in Ukraine. In parallel, some analysts in Venezuela have questioned the “humanitarian relief” that the EU is referring to, as none of this alleged support has been received by the most vulnerable Venezuelans.

Simultaneously, many are afraid that this last EU decision might be aiming at strengthening the battery of Western-backed NGOs. This would likely constitute the beginning stages of yet another concerted attempt to achieve the long-awaited “regime” change, promoted by the White House, of Venezuela’s socialist government.


(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content

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