The geopolitics of sanctions, their social impact and violations against the peoples’ human rights were some of the issues discussed during a virtual seminar held on Monday and organized by the Simon Bolivar Institute for Peace and Solidarity among Peoples and the Tricontinental Institute of Social Research.

The seminar, themed “Let Us Breathe. Sanctions as violations of Human Rights,” was aimed at discussing the implications of unilateral coercive measures as policies within the development of hybrid wars, and included lectures by Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Human Rights Larry Devoe, Vice-minister of Anti-blockade Policies William Castillo, Director General of the Gender with Class Foundation Rebeca Madriz, Brazil’s leader of the Landless Workers’ Movement João Pedro Stédile and former UN Special Rapporteur Hilal Elver.

The Metamorphosis of Imperialism

During his lecture, João Pedro Stédile explained the phases of imperialism and how it “has changed its ways of control” over the peoples.

“We are facing a new phase of imperialism. They turned their look back at natural resources to maintain their model (…) Invasions or using marines (strategies of classic warfare) no longer suit them. They are using hybrid wars to guarantee domination and control the people’s minds and hearts,” pointed out the social leader.

In the same vein, he referred to Venezuela, a country he claimed is the victim of all these hybrid war tactics.  In this regard, he stated Venezuela is the laboratory of hybrid wars, but, unlike other countries in the region where these strategies have worked, in the South American country “a true alliance between the people (through its different forms of organizations) and the armed forces has been built up with the protection of Saint Francis of Assisi,” an Italian Catholic friar and founder of the Order of Saint Francis.

“They have not brought Venezuela down because it created a holy alliance between the people and the Armed Forces, an alliance they did not foresee,” affirmed Stédile.

During his intervention, the social leader also recommended the book “Hybrid Wars: Color Revolutions and Unconventional Warfare,” which does not only explain the situation between Asia and Europe, but also the lawfare that took place in Latin America as a “new form of meddling” in domestic affairs.


People’s Power Ministry for Foreign Relations of Venezuela