Vice-minister for Multilateral Affairs explains illegality of unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela at virtual forum

Vice-minister for Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs Alexander Yánez explained on Wednesday that the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the U.S. government against Venezuela are illegal because they violate the principles of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other state, self-determination and sovereignty, and have a negative impact on human rights and the right to development established by United Nations as priority for the peoples.

At a virtual forum themed “Unilateral Coercive Measures and Blockade against Venezuela,” organized by the International Solidarity Committee (COSI, Spanish acronym), the Venezuelan diplomat said that unilateral coercive measures, wrongly called sanctions, are adopted outside the UN Security Council and that more than 30 resolutions of the UN General Assembly and more than 20 resolutions of the UN human Rights Council question the legality of this imperial policy.

The Venezuelan vice-minister outlined the general background to this issue, the concept of unilateral coercive measures, their elements, their types, foundations of their legality and illegality, UN stance on this issue and the referral filed by the Bolivarian Government in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Yánez recalled that since 2015, when the Barack Obama administration endorsed the executive order describing Venezuela as an unusual and extraordinary threat to the security of the United States, the U.S. Government has issued more than 300 unilateral coercive measures against the South American country, affecting people and companies from third-party states for their ties with the Bolivarian nation.

Regarding their definition, the Venezuelan diplomat referred to the concept used by Alena Douhan, UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, and said they are applied by states to other states or individuals able to decide on the policy of that other state, and are primarily (but not exclusively) economic measures aimed to change a policy of a target state.

Likewise, Yánez discussed the referral filed in the ICC last February and explained it is based on Article 14 of the Rome Statute and on the thesis of effect-based jurisdiction, highlighting that enough evidence have been submitted to prove the systematic violation of the Venezuelan people’s human rights and prosecute crimes against humanity resulting from the application of this measures by the U.S. administration.

“Unilateral coercive measures are some sort of restrictive administrative missiles launched all around the world and whose effects are produced in Venezuela,” he said.

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