U.N. envoy urges U.S. to relax Venezuela sanctions
A U.N. envoy on Friday said U.S. and E.U. sanctions on Venezuela were worsening a humanitarian crisis and recommended the United States relax the measures, an argument the country’s opposition labeled “regime propaganda”, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Following a 12-day visit, Alena Douhan, a U.N. special rapporteur focusing on sanctions, recommended in a preliminary report that the sanctions be lifted and the Venezuelan government be granted access to funds frozen in the United States, United Kingdom and Portugal.
Washington in January 2019 sanctioned state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela to try to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption, rights violations and rigging his 2018 re-election.
Maduro’s government blames the sanctions for Venezuela’s economic woes. Prior to blacklisting PDVSA in 2019, Washington in 2015 implemented its first sanctions on top Venezuelan government officials, and in 2017 issued some financial restrictions on PDVSA.
“Unilateral sanctions increasingly imposed by the United States, the European Union and other countries have exacerbated the abovementioned calamities,” Douhan told reporters, recognizing that the economic decline started in 2014 with the downturn in oil pries and that mismanagement and corruption also contributed.