Venezuela loses $130bn to U.S. sanctions – Envoy
The Venezuelan Ambassador to Nigeria, David Velasquez, said on Thursday that his country lost about 130 billion dollars between 2015 and 2018 as result of the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S.
Velasquez said this in Abuja at a news conference on the world campaign on the support of Venezuela tagged #Trump Unblock Venezuela.
The envoy said that $5.5 billion of his country’s financial assets were frozen by international banks which created additional burden for Venezuela.
He said that the U.S. unilateral coercive measure called sanctions formed a systematic and conscious strategy of massive violation of the human rights of the Venezuelan people.
The envoy said that the UN has described the measure as crimes against humanity.
He explained that between December 2014 and April 2019, the government of U.S enacted a law and seven executive decrees to punish and penalise the Venezuelan economy.
He said that the punishment included blocking and confiscating of financial assets, prohibiting the negotiation of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)’s debt, increase in country risk and financial costs and prohibiting operations with gold.
Others he said are confiscating assets of Citgo Petroleum Corporation (CITGO) and assets of PDVSA, sanctions on oil trade, sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela and fines and administrative penalties for trade.
According to him, the effects and impact of the economic blockade on the economy and the Venezuelan people is hurting most vulnerable.
He said most of the assets confiscated were resources to buy food and medicine, raw material equipment for the industry in Venezuela.
According to him, as at April 30 funds withheld, frozen of confiscated by international banks amounted to 5.47billion dollars.
“In October 2017 the Swiss Bank, UBS, blocked the payment of resources intended for the purchase of vaccines. This caused delay of four months in the vaccination programmes, severely affecting the Venezuelan population.
“In 2017, the international bank blocked the payment of $9 million intended for the acquisition of supplies for dialysis; this action affected the treatment of 15,000 hemodialysis patients.
“Between 2017 and 2018 Bank of Europe and U.S prevented financial operation of the government of Venezuela to the tune of $300 million intended for the purchase of food,” he said.
The ambassador said the U.S. attack was not only against Venezuela alone but against the international community and also crimes against humanity.
The envoy who said that the Latin American people were equally under attack by the U.S. expressed confidence that Venezuela would defeat the U.S. action.