Three United States congressional members issued a statement calling for a diplomatic solution in Venezuela in response to the newest U.S. financial sanctions against the country.
In a press release released Friday, U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Ro Khanna (D-CA) defended Venezuela against the unilateral sanctions, for the good of its people.
“With its announcement of the most extensive U.S. financial sanctions against Venezuela to date, the Trump Administration is once again pursuing aggressive unilateral measures abroad in an attempt to distract attention away from the sustained outrage over the president’s disgraceful antics at home – all while designing his sanctions in accordance with the interests of oil-industry lobbyists,” the statement read.
The new sanctions which were announced by the U.S. administration Friday, aim to prevent Venezuela from raising new loans on U.S. financial markets. They are expected to make it difficult for the government of President Nicolas Maduro to restructure its debt payments, and are likely to aggravate the shortages of some foods and other products for Venezuelan consumers.
The congressional members stated that sanctioning the nation will only aggravate the economic crisis. “These unilateral sanctions will only further complicate efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the country’s political crisis and threaten to create greater economic hardship for ordinary Venezuelans."
In a letter written to U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson last month, the congresspeople warned that U.S. economic sanctions would be rejected by Venezuelans and only serve as fuel for further tensions between the two nations, while the opportunity for dialogue and a peaceful solution continued to slip further away.
“By applying financial sanctions to Venezuela, President Trump is threatening the country’s ability to access foreign currency, which is desperately needed to alleviate widespread shortages of food, medicine and basic goods,” the document stated.
“Prior to ratcheting up hostilities through these latest sanctions, President Trump absurdly suggested a ‘military option’ in Venezuela, publicly betraying his campaign promise to avoid regime-change efforts that have undermined U.S. security interests,” the statement continued.
“Such a reckless maneuver, absent Congressional authorization and U.N. Security Council approval, would be clearly unconstitutional and illegal,” the politicians stated.
“A sensible approach to Venezuela’s crisis is obvious: the United States needs to work with other governments in the region to support mediation and negotiations that involve respected international actors such as the Vatican and the United Nations.”