News Release

Escalating Sanctions on Iran and Venezuela During Pandemic a “Crime Against Humanity”

Newsweek reports: “U.S. Adds Iran Sanctions, Indicts Venezuela President as Countries Fight Coronavirus.”

ALFRED DE ZAYAS, alfreddezayas at gmail.com, @Alfreddezayas
Alfred de Zayas was the first UN rapporteur (independent expert) to visit and report from Venezuela in 21 years. In his recent interview “U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela during pandemic could be genocidal” with The Grayzone, he calls such sanctions “insane” and a “crime against humanity.” His most recent interview is in Spanish with Swissinfo. See also his other recent interviews and writings.

KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly just wrote the piece “Making the Pandemic Worse” for The Progressive. She writes: “U.S. sanctions against Iran, which the Trump administration has cruelly strengthened, continue to collectively punish extremely vulnerable people. The United States’ current ‘maximum pressure’ policy severely undermines Iranian efforts to cope with the ravages of COVID-19, causing hardship and tragedy while contributing to the global spread of the disease.”

LEONARDO FLORES, leonardo at codepink.org, @codepink
Flores recently wrote the pieces “Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You” and “‘Maximum-Pressure March’: U.S. Hybrid War on Venezuela Heats Up.” He was born in Venezuela and is a Latin America campaign coordinator for CODEPINK.

Al Jazeera reports: “Venezuela says U.S. drug charges against Maduro show ‘desperation.’

Flores said today: “A day after President Maduro offered to hold talks with the opposition about the country’s response to COVID-19, the Trump administration did its utmost to once against sabotage an opportunity for dialogue. For years the U.S. government has accused Venezuela of narcoterrorism, without ever presenting evidence. The biggest consumer of cocaine in the world is the United States and the biggest producer is Colombia. Venezuela doesn’t grow coca, doesn’t produce cocaine and according to the U.S. government’s own statistics, only a small fraction of the cocaine in the U.S. transits through the country.”