The United States has a wide-ranging sanctions programme which affects two dozen countries around the world. Three of these counties are in Latin America: Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
These sanctions are extremely severe and cause untold suffering to the population of the respective countries. These sanctions are also illegal under the UN charter.
During the Trump administration all three countries experienced an increase in the scope and severity of the sanctions.
The sanctions are not the only form of aggression used by the United States. All three counties have been subjected to internal destabilisation through the US funding of right-wing groups. Through a pliant media apparatus they spread disinformation with the goal of undermining, isolating and discrediting these countries within the international community and sway broader public opinion against them. Invariably the ultimate aim is regime change so as to ensure the economic and political domination of United States imperialism in the region.
The ongoing damage to these countries is immense.
For Cuba, 60 years of a blockage has cost it’s economy more than £105 billion. The disgraceful Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 allows the US president to uphold a complete embargo on trade with Cuba and blocks aid to the Cuban government.
In Nicaragua, the US use the “Nica Act” (Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act), introduced in December 2018, by Trump following the failure to enforce regime change. The aim of this act is to isolate Nicaragua from any loans or financial assistance from institutions such as the World Bank or IMF. In addition to this the United States continues to generously financially support anti-government forces in the country.
As President Ortega and the FSLN looks likely to be re-elected in November this year the well known shill of the US government – USAid – are working hard to destabilise Ortega and replace him as President.
As for Venezuela, the prize here would be greater due to the large oil reserves and mineral wealth.
The sanctions imposed on Venezuela are just as harsh as those imposed on Cuba with these sanctions leading to an estimated 40,000 deaths during 2017-18 alone.
Covid has meant that these countries have suffered even more with sanctions limiting their ability to buy equipment or medicine. Yet the US remains committed to ensuring further hardship on the populations until they get their way.
Now more than ever the international community must be vocal in their solidarity and defence of the sovereignty of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. We must be clear that these illegal and immoral sanctions are not acceptable and must end.