AFRICANGLOBE – American economic sanctions have been the worst crime against humanity since World War Two.
America’s economic sanctions have killed more innocent people than all of the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons ever used in the history of mankind.
The fact that for America the issue in Venezuela is oil, not democracy, will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.
Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves on the planet.
America seeks control of Venezuela because it sits atop the strategic intersection of the Caribbean, South and Central American worlds.
Control of the nation, has always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three regions and beyond.
From the first moment Hugo Chavez took office, the United States has been trying to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist movement by using sanctions, coup attempts, and funding the opposition parties.
After all, there is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état.
United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, recommended, just a few days ago, that the International Criminal Court investigate economic sanctions against Venezuela as a possible crime against humanity perpetrated by America.
Over the past five years, American sanctions have cut Venezuela off from most financial markets, which have caused local oil production to plummet.
Consequently, Venezuela has experienced the largest decline in living standards of any country in recorded Latin American history.
Prior to American sanctions, socialism in Venezuela had reduced inequality and poverty whilst pensions expanded.
During the same time period in America, it has been the absolute reverse.
President Chavez funnelled Venezuela’s oil revenues into social spending such as free+6 healthcare, education, subsidized food networks, and housing construction.
In order to fully understand why America is waging economic war on the people of Venezuela one must analyse the historical relationship between the petrodollar system and Sanctions of Mass Destruction: Prior to the 20th century, the value of money was tied to gold.
When banks lent money they were constrained by the size of their gold reserves.
But in 1971, US President Richard Nixon took the country off the gold standard.
Nixon and Saudi Arabia came to an Oil For Dollars agreement that would change the course of history and become the root cause of countless wars for oil.
Under this petrodollar agreement the only currency that Saudi Arabia could sell its oil in was the US dollar.
The Saudi Kingdom would in turn ensure that its oil profits flow back into U.S.
government treasuries and American banks.
In exchange, America pledged to provide the Saudi Royal family’s regime with military protection and military hardware.
It was the start of something truly great for America.
Access to oil defined 20th-century empires and the petrodollar agreement was the key to the ascendancy of the United States as the world’s sole superpower.
America’s war machine runs on, is funded by, and exists in protection of oil.
Threats by any nation to undermine the petrodollar system are viewed by Washington as tantamount to a declaration of war against the United States of America.
Within the last two decades Iraq, Iran, Libya and Venezuela have all threatened to sell their oil in other currencies.
Consequently, they have all been subject to crippling U.S. sanctions.
Over time the petrodollar system spread beyond oil and the U.S.
dollar slowly but surely became the reserve currency for global trades in most commodities and goods.
This system allows America to maintain its position of dominance as the world’s only superpower, despite being a staggering $23 trillion in debt.
With billions of dollars worth of minerals in the ground and with the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela should not only be wealthy, but her people the envy of the developing world.
But the nation is essentially broke because American sanctions have cut them off from the international financial system and cost the economy $6 billion over the last five years.
Without sanctions, Venezuela could recover easily by collateralizing some of its abundant resources or its $8 billion of gold reserves, in order to get the loans necessary to kick-start their economy.
In order to fully understand the insidious nature of the Venezuelan crisis, it is necessary to understand the genesis of economic sanctions.
At the height of World War Two, President Truman issued an order for American bombers to drop “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 140,000 people instantly.
The gruesome images that emerged from the rubble were broadcast through television sets across the world and caused unprecedented outrage.
The political backlash forced U.S. policy makers to devise a more subtle weapon of mass destruction: economic sanctions.
The term “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) was first defined by the United Nations in 1948 as “atomic explosive weapons, radioactive material weapons, lethal chemical and biological weapons, and any weapons developed in the future which have characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb or other weapons mentioned above”.
Sanctions are clearly the 21st century’s deadliest weapon of mass destruction.
In 2001, the US administration told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Iraq was a terrorist state; Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda.
It all amounted to nothing.
In fact, America already knew that the only weapons of mass destruction that Saddam had were not nuclear in nature, but rather chemical and biological.
The only reason they knew this in advance was because America sold the weapons to Saddam to use on Iran in 1991.
What the US administration did not tell us was that Saddam Hussein used to be a strong ally of the United States.
The main reason for toppling Saddam and putting sanctions on the people of Iraq was the fact that Iraq had ditched the Dollar-for-Oil sales.
The United Nations estimates that 1.7 million Iraqis died due to Bill Clinton’s sanctions; 500,000 of whom were children.
In 1996, a journalist asked former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, about these UN reports, specifically about the children.
America’s top foreign policy official, Albright, replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it”.
Clearly, US sanctions policies are nothing short of state-sanctioned genocide.
Over the last five years, sanctions have caused Venezuelan per capita incomes to drop by 40 percent, which is a decline similar to that of war torn Iraq and Syria at the height of their armed conflicts.
Millions of Venezuelans have had to flee the country.
If America is so concerned about refugees, Trump should stop furthering disastrous foreign policies that actually create them.