Political differences between governments should never be resolved by inducing economic and humanitarian disasters to the population, said the UN expert about the negative effect of sanctions, referring to the cases of Cuba, Venezuela and Iran.
“The behavior codes of international relations have never accepted a government changes through economic measures that lead to the denial of human rights and may cause hunger in the population”, the UN special rapporteur said on Monday about the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures.
Idriss Jazairy expressed great concern over the recent imposition of US sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, and said that resorting to such economic measures for political purposes violates human rights and international behavioral norms as they can precipitate humanitarian catastrophes of enormous proportions.
“Real concerns and political differences between governments must never be resolved by inducing economic and humanitarian considerations, turning the population into a hostage of the situation”, he said.
The expert recalled that the implementation of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue Cuban and foreign entities for expropriated properties and used after the Cuban revolution in 1959, ignored the protests of the European Union and Canada and attacked directly to companies with investments in Cuba.
He insisted that it is against international law for a power to use its dominant position in the global financial arena and harm its own allies to damage the economy of sovereign states, in addition to undermining the fundamental guarantees of its citizens.
On April 17, the United States prohibited the Central Bank of Venezuela from carrying out transactions in US dollars since May 17. It will also impede access to personal remittances and US credit cards since March of next year.
“It is hard to imagine how, according to the US Treasury Department, these measures can seek to ‘help the Venezuelan people’ if they destroy the economy and will not allow Venezuelans to send money to their country”, Jazairy said after the release of the report of a US analysis center that argues 40,000 presumed deaths in Venezuela from 2017 to date due to sanctions.
On the other hand, the rapporteur expressed he fears the United States will not renew exemptions for international buyers of Iranian oil despite protests from Turkey and other countries. Washington asked all the States that benefit from the exemptions to stop acquiring this oil on May 1, under penalty of sanctions.
“The application of unilateral extraterritorial sanctions clearly contravenes international law”, he stressed adding that it is very worrisome that a State uses its power to harm not only the Iranian people, whose government has fulfilled the obligations of the agreement on its nuclear program, but also to anyone who trades with Iran”.
Jazairy called on the international community to unite to challenge the blockades that ignore the sovereignty of countries, the human rights of its people and the rights of third countries that trade with sanctioned States.
“I urge the international community to engage in a constructive dialogue with Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and the United States to find a peaceful solution in line with the Charter of the United Nations before the arbitrary use of starvation becomes the new normal”, he concluded.