Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a RIA Novosti question in connection with new anti-Venezuela sanctions imposed by the United States
Question: What do you think about the new restrictions that the US administration has imposed on Venezuela? Will they influence the process of the intra-Venezuelan dialogue?
Maria Zakharova: On August 5, President Donald Trump signed an executive order freezing all Venezuelan state assets on US territory and also prohibiting all US individuals and legal entities from doing business with the legitimate government of Venezuela and its representatives.
Therefore, Washington continues to wage economic terrorism against Caracas in its customary “cowboy” manner. The freezing of the Venezuelan state’s resources and assets has been formalised. These steps have no legal justification from the standpoint of international law and domestic Venezuelan law. Obviously, the White House is guided by an ideology of intolerance and diktat that has been placed above the interests of the people of Venezuela. This discriminatory policy is a challenge to the entire system of international relations; it asserts unilateral punitive measures as something normal and runs counter to human rights and humanitarian values. We would like to recall that not a single state has the right to dictate its will to others using economic reprisals.
Clearly, US strategists have miscalculated the level of popular support for the legitimate President and his readiness to defend the genuine independence of his country. After numerous abortive attempts to seize power in Venezuela by force, Washington is relying on efforts to aggravate the socioeconomic situation, and it is guided by the “the worse, the better” principle. No matter what the United States may say, these brutal indiscriminate restrictions first of all impact the most vulnerable population strata, including senior citizens, unwell people and children. Famous economist Jeffrey Sachs estimates that over 40,000 Venezuelans have already died as a result of the so-called US sanctions. The only thing the people of this country are guilty of is supporting a leader who is out of favour with Washington.
We consistently oppose the unwinding of the spiral of sanctions, and we remain a responsible member of the international community and a reliable partner for all countries. Russia calls for renouncing illegitimate sanctions, politically motivated restrictions and barriers. Instead of imposing new restrictions, it is necessary to quickly remove trade and sanction barriers in the social and humanitarian sphere.
Those countries that are truly interested in getting Venezuela back on the path towards prosperity should unfailingly honour the UN Charter and facilitate a search for ways of resolving the crisis situation in Venezuela by political means. The intra-Venezuelan dialogue between leading political forces that are ready to put the destinies of the country and its people above their personal ambitions should become a key element of this process.