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US to impose sanctions on Venezuela

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The US Congress on Wednesday voted to restrict travel and freeze assets on some Venezuelan government officials it accuses of human rights abuses during a crackdown on protests against socialist President Nicolás Maduro earlier this year.

More than 40 people have died during a wave of protests by students and members of the Venezuelan opposition against curbs on democratic liberties, rampant crime and a deteriorating economy in the embattled Caribbean nation.

The US Senate approved the measure earlier this week. Now the House of Representatives has passed it, it will be sent to President Barack Obama to sign it into law.

In late July, after peace talks between the government and opposition came to nothing, the US state department imposed a travel ban on some Venezuelan officials.

On Tuesday Mr Maduro lashed out on national television and radio at the possibility of an “insolent imperialist” move, warning that “if the crazy path of sanctions is imposed, President Obama, I think you’re going to come out looking very bad”.

US senator Robert Menéndez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and author of the bipartisan Venezuela Defence of Human Rights and Civil Society Act, countered that “the absence of justice and the denial of human rights in Venezuela must end”.

He added: “When this bill becomes law, a spotlight will shine on Venezuela’s abusers and target individuals responsible for human rights violations by applying asset freezes and visa bans.”

Last week the government indicted María Corina Machado, a former congresswoman, for participating in an alleged assassination plot against Mr Maduro. Along with arrested opposition leader Leopoldo López, they managed to bring thousands of demonstrators on to the streets of Venezuela in February and March.

“It’s very hard to imagine that the case against Machado for her alleged involvement in a plot to kill the president will be anything more than a farce,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director of Human Rights Watch, who published a report in May saying that Venezuelan troops used excessive force against peaceful protesters.

If sanctions are finally imposed, the government may present them “as an attack against the country to try to distract public opinion from the economic crisis that the country is facing”, said Barclays. Accelerating inflation and shortages of basic goods are worsening as the crude price slide hits the oil-dependent nation.

Eurasia, the risk consultancy, wrote that as Venezuela’s exports to the US “still represents Venezuela’s largest cash-generating oil export market by far”, President Maduro was “unlikely to do anything that would put that relationship at risk, particularly in a context where the economy is already contracting and the economic outlook is bleak”.


34 Comments on "US to impose sanctions on Venezuela"

  1. Newfie on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 12:06 pm 

    What about the human rights abuses in the USA ?
    Like the police shooting unarmed black men ?

  2. paulo1 on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 12:32 pm 


    The torture report comes out and these sanctimonious jerks are imposing sanctions on protest deaths?! Plus recent cop shootings? Lets go back to Kent State. My Lai. Where were the sanctions then?

    This is a joke.

  3. bobinget on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 12:45 pm 

    Saudi Arabia, up there with the world’s top ‘human rights’ abusers. A police state whose citizens are responsible for incubation, formulation and finance of today’s top Islamic terrorist organizations.

    According to BBC, (who bothered to count) over 3,400 civilians were killed by radical Islamic groups
    mostly in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen in October.
    One month.

    It’s totally insane to sanction Venezuela to satisfy
    political grandstanding.

    If signed by President O, sanctions on Venezuela
    preordain political and civil chaos.
    Regime change is the obvious goal here.

    Venezuela has been effected perhaps more then any other OPEC state by a 40% drop in oil prices.

    Sanctions now all but guarantees China’s absolute
    financial dominance in the entire region. A region once unquestionably, besides Cuba, America’s ‘backyard’.

    Here’s the rub. Currently, Venezuela supplies not only Cuba in the Caribbean but Central America with deeply discounted oil. (it’s ALWAYS oil)
    Central America, deprived of cheap oil, will no longer be safe for American business, residents,
    tourism unless we are prepared to replace that
    subsidized oil. (we are not)

    It’s my opinion, Venezuela’s current leaders, pushed to the wall, will sell out to Chinese oil needs. ‘So long fourth biggest US oil supplier’.

    It is obvious Congress believes sanctions, hitting Venezuela now that it’s down, will foment an overthrow of today’s Socialist government.

    News Flash: Poor people in Venezuela outnumber
    the rich, control the army and have been in rehearsal for this at least a decade.

    Now, Militant Islamists have more to crow over.
    A almost 100% non Muslim State being persecuted
    by daemon USA.

    Once again, when OPEC is reorganized, it will be Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Ecuador and Libya running the show.

    Saudis and Kuwaitis can set up their own shadow governments in Paris.

  4. shortonoil on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 1:31 pm 

    “It’s totally insane to sanction Venezuela to satisfy
    political grandstanding.”

    Is this just more unfathomably stupid state department rhetoric? – Or is something more diabolic at large? Either way, DC is going off the rails.

  5. bobinget on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 1:52 pm 

    WE agree!
    BTW, that should have been ‘affected’.

    This sort of move, obviously misinformed, gives
    KSA what they no doubt asked for.
    According to news reports there was bad blood showing quite obviously as Ramirez left the last OPEC meeting.

    One would have thought we (the US) learned it’s lessons coddling certain dictatorships for commerce and fomenting coups in others too
    far left of center.

    Speaking of which, I expect right of center President O to blow it again and sign off on VEN sanctions.

    One poster exclaimed: ‘what a “interesting” year coming up in 2015’.(paraphrased).
    couldn’t agree more.

  6. jjhman on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 2:41 pm 

    I didn’t notice that the sanctions included a refusal to buy oil from Venezuela, which is providing about 12% of total oil imports according to the EIA.

    The US is really big on punishing bad guys but not if it causes any inconvenience at home… other than sending some poor misbegotten souls out to get shot at. On borrowed money.

  7. Plantagenet on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 2:45 pm 

    If obama didn’t want to impose sanctions on Venezuela then he shouldn’t have signaled he approved of the budget deal that the congress is voting on now.

  8. GregT on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 2:58 pm 

    As the USD continues down the path to losing it’s world reserve status, expect the attempts at control to become more and more desperate. The Creature from Jekyll Island has no motherland, patriotism or decency. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The empire will not lay down quietly, but will instead go down kicking and screaming. The empire will drag us all into another global war.

  9. Plantagenet on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 3:39 pm 


    We are already in another global war. In the last six years alone obama has bombed and blasted various evildoers in Afghanistan, Pakistan Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Yemen, and Libya.

  10. GregT on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 4:19 pm 

    Obama has done nothing of the sort Plant. Obama is a politician, not a military strategist, and not the person dictating US foreign policy. He is an actor Plant, a person with charisma, a ‘great orator’. Somebody that the sheep will blame for everything, while the true power brokers remain anonymous behind the scenes.

  11. penury on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 4:46 pm 

    Does anyone here note that sanctions are applied mainly to nations which produce oil and/or have signed the accord to trade in local currencies rather than the U.S. dollar?

  12. Richard on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 4:56 pm 

    Empires have always got their ways for a time.

  13. Plantagenet on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 5:22 pm 


    Your claim that President Obama is just an “actor” and not the person directing US foreign policy is absurd.

    Who do you think ordered US military forces to attack Libya, Iraq and Syria if not President Obama?

  14. Welch on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 5:52 pm 

    Wow. The American lawmakers really are a bunch of Assholes. Seriously, how can you American contributors stand this shit? This just makes you want to puke.

  15. Makati1 on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:08 pm 

    Isn’t it fun, living in the insane asylum of the world, Americans? And you wonder why most of the world is turning against you. Yes, I’m an American and I am becoming ashamed of that fact.

  16. Davy on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:14 pm 

    Yea, Welch, not a day goes by without my government letting me down with slime, scum, and deceit called law making. The US has been taken hostage by a den of thieves. Now are you satisfied.

    Please tell me how wonderful it is over in your lovely old country which is just as bad. We learned everything we know from you Europeans. Thanks for all the bullshit you Europeans taught us. Thanks for WWI & WWII which initiated the American century. If Europe wouldn’t have fucked up we may never have become the global superpower we became. Maybe we could have remained isolationist in a multi-polar world. The rest of the world is complicity with the sins of being human just as Americans are.

  17. Davy on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:18 pm 

    You are not American Mak. It makes me sick when I hear you say it. You say it all the time and act like it gives you a justification to be an asshole.

  18. GregT on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:27 pm 


    Much of US foreign policy is dictated by the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Builderbergs, AIPAC, and other ‘independent think tanks’. To put it in Obama’s words himself, ‘I am not a card carrying member’, although he does appear to belong to the CFR.

    Obama is merely carrying out orders, like all good presidents that do not wish to be impeached, or assassinated. Obama is not in control of US government foreign policy. Your claim that he is, is foolish. Presidents don’t even write their own speeches Plant.

    Libya, Iraq, and Syria were planned far in advance of Obama being installed as president.

    Have you ever taken a step back and wondered why you are constantly in disagreement with most of the people who post here Plant? The world is not as simplistic as you believe it to be. How old are you anyways Plant?

  19. Apneaman on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:47 pm 

    Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings

    Parts of the CIA interrogation programme were known, but the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish, especially knowing much more will never be revealed

  20. Apneaman on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:50 pm 

    Revelations from the Torture Report – CIA Lies, Nazi Methods and the $81 Million No-Bid Torture Contract

  21. Tom on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 6:51 pm 

    Remember the coup against Chavez that lasted only a few days. When the U.S. discovered that Chavez’ political support was both broad and deep and the coup might cause the loss/disruption of Venezuelan crude, then our guys rapidly called off the dogs and Chavez resumed power. Will the same scenario be replayed of will the U.S. oil companies end up with the Orinoco oil resources?

  22. Makati1 on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 8:50 pm 

    Davy, if anyone here is an asshole, look in the mirror. Only you seem to be blind to reality. So be it. Just another psychotic brainwashed American living the “American Dream” on a farm few others could afford, in an area soon to be ravaged by the angry hordes. Your fat and wealthy family cannot save you. They will be running for their lives ahead of pitchforks and shotguns.

  23. Plantagenet on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 10:20 pm 


    Who do you think planned Iraq and Syria wars in advance? The Trilaterial commission? Really? A bunch of 70 year old guys did it? Really? And how did they get the sunnis in Syria to revolt against the Shia Assad regime 4 years ago and the sunnis in Irag to found ISIS 3 years ago establish a Caliphate one year ago so that a regional war between sunnis and shias resumed. How do they travel to all these war zones? Do they use time travel? Magic invisibility cloaks?

    Do you think the trilateral commission is bribing all the Mullahs and Sheikhs to make them fight each other? Did the trilataerial commission make Iran back the Assad regime? Did the trilateral commission force obama to pull US troops out of Iraq to help ISIS get started? Who is responsible for obama proclaiming he had a “bright red line” in Syria that suddenly turned into a dashed pink line? Do they make Putin send weapons to Assad.

    Oh the terrible perfidity of the evil trilateral commission!!!

    How do the trilateral commission make all these religious fanatics and world leaders do what they want? Do they have secret agents that sneak into the bedrooms of the world leaders and apply electrical shocks and then whisper the day’s commands into to their ears?

    Please share more of your insights into the secret conspiracies that control the globe…Please explain how it all works—-Thanks!

  24. GregT on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 10:48 pm 

    “Please share more of your insights into the secret conspiracies that control the globe…Please explain how it all works—-Thanks!”

    There is no point Plant. You already have your mind made up, and it is closed.

    There are no such things as conspiracies. Obama controls every aspect of the US government. The west has not been involved in the ME for three centuries, and there are no such thing as secrets being held by those in power. Everything is out in the open, the media is telling you the truth, and our ‘leaders’ are working hard to make the world a much better place for all, full of equality, peace, justice, freedom, and above all else democracy. Oh and I almost forgot, happy days are here again, we are in an oil glut.

  25. Plantagenet on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 11:26 pm 


    You certainly have some interesting ideas. Its a shame you won’t share your knowledge of these nefarious secret conspiracies and how they control the fates of nations. Of course, on the other hand, if you actually shared your knowledge of the secret conspiracies, then I guess they wouldn’t be secret anymore.

    PS: I checked out the trilateral commission after reading your post saying they were one of the groups controlling the world. Its leader is a 77-year-old former professor at the the JFK school at Harvard. He looks like a typical academic policy wonk but Is he actually the man who secretly controls the world?


  26. GregT on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 11:33 pm 


    Where do you live in Alaska? What do you do? And how old are you? I have no intention of getting into continual pissing matches with you. All of our perceptions have a great deal to do with our own separate day to day realities. Please do tell, so that we might be able to establish a baseline going forward.

  27. Davy on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 6:05 am 

    Greg, I have always had in the back of my mind a wonder is this world rigged by a secret society or societies? I have problems seeing one society. If there were one society it seems there would be more broad agreement globally.

    This world is fracturing and splitting. The American century was over when Dubya pulled the trigger on Iraq in 03. The economic world may have converged in 08. Business is usually stronger than politics until business goes bad then we get political. This is why I see a dysfunctional global political arrangement unfolding. Financial repression has failed and the bumpy descent has started. Poor economy means unhappiness means distrust means conflict. Has it ever been different?

    I see multiple secret societies vying for power and control. Many criminals and many national. We know the nationals are criminals too just legalized criminals. My view is many of these groups will end in disruption and decay. The groups with global reach and complexity will suffer entropic decay. Only the strongest and pre-modern ones will survive. We may drop down to a neo-Stone-age level or extinction this may be their message.

    Throughout the middle ages we had secret societies that supposedly had the secrets of time itself and the end of the world. These were Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. Surprisingly they were a combination of all three traditions in association and cooperation. All three have a common source as Abrahamic religions identifying with the secrets of Abraham. This association and cooperation was not always the case but for much of that early time these three religious traditions had profound secrets carries by groups. Why would that be any different now? Even the Native Americans had secret societies. Washington is supposedly a Mason creation.

    Greg, your question is profound because it points to the end of time or the end of the world as we know it because these early societies’ secrets were based on this type of fundamental secret. The more I read about the ancients the more respect I have for them and the less I have for our modern traditions. It is said we are in the Iron Age and the symbol for the Iron Age is the Skull and bones IOW death. I doubt knowledge, technology, and science will changed that.

    How does this relate to PO. PO and its doomish conclusions are also looking at the end of the world as we know it. We must ask ourselves is this part of the manifestation and realization of the secrets these ancient societies were based on? Not PO itself but the understanding complexity leads to this doomish conclusion. Maybe just delusion and fantasy on my part but I assure you the historical tradition is there. Lao Tzu mentioned “The clever will be deceived” and George Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  28. GregT on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 8:59 am 

    There ARE ‘secret societies’ Davy. They exist at many different levels. Does the CEO of a multinational corporation pass down his or her strategies to the front line employees? The generals to the troops? The CIA to the layperson on Main Street? Of course not. In many cases not only are there secrets, there are closely guarded secrets. In some cases the acts of revealing those secrets are even punishable by death. Human beings conspire, they always have, and they always will, and the number one reason why they do, is for personal gain. Anybody who believes otherwise is gullible, or simplistic.

  29. Davy on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 9:09 am 

    No arguments here from Davy on that one Greg.

  30. GregT on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 9:31 am 

    Interesting that you should bring up the Masons Davy. Did you know that it is believed that they built the Tower of Babel?

    Think about the implications of that.

  31. JuanP on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 10:56 am 

    I expected this. It is a reasonable step in the US government attempt to achieve total global hegemony before collapse sets in. We can expect more CIA, DOS, and MSM BS regarding Brazil and Argentina, too, in the coming months.

    Actions speak louder than words. Most of Latin America has turned away from the USA in the past decades. I consider this an irreversible trend. The USA has to collapse before relations with Latin America can begin to be repaired.

  32. Welch on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 7:17 pm 

    Davy – I happen to be Canadian, not European. My government currently follows America’s lead and is not much better. Stephen Harper’s idea of democracy does not suit me. Luckily money is not yet as entrenched in Canadian politics as it is south of the border, with respect to both the formation of policy and the election system. Anyway, what is galling is the States’ message and their actions ore 180 degrees apart. They don’t want democracy for others unless they own them.

  33. Davy on Fri, 12th Dec 2014 7:23 pm 

    Sorry, Welch, the propaganda bitches yesterday had my blood boiling. I took it out on you unjustly.

  34. Welch on Sat, 13th Dec 2014 1:41 pm 

    No offense taken. Cheers.

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