Venezuela: UN expert analyses the economic embargo situation and the socio-economic crisis

In an interview and an independent article in his blog, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order provides details of his appreciations on the current situation of Venezuela. To give the term “crisis” its real dimension at the UN level, he explains why the Venezuelan is not a “humanitarian crisis” although recognizing a variety of problems the population face.

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Article
17 March 2018

“UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela”

Author: Real News Network

17 March 2018

Over 150 intellectuals and activists signed an open letter urging the US and Canada to stop their economic sanctions on Venezuela, which are making the country’s economic problems worse. Special UN Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas is a signer and visited Venezuela late last year

Link to interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=39&v=EwM4VhkVVPo

…SHARMINI PERIES: Dr. Zayas, when you first returned from Venezuela last December you publicly stated, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.” That was when there was widespread claims in the international media to the contrary…What made you make that claim?

ALFRED DE ZAYAS: Humanitarian crisis is a term of art. It is a terminus technicus. The problem with hyperboles, the problem with loose use of language, is that you can say the government has failed to protect the human rights of the population, there is a humanitarian crisis; therefore, we should have a humanitarian intervention and a military intervention. That is the problem… It’s not out of the question that a military action could be taken, and that must be averted…Now, humanitarian crisis … I’m not the only one who says that there is no humanitarian crisis. The CEPAL, which is an organization in Latin America that does studies and comparisons of the level of hunger or the level of poverty, etcetera, has said quite clearly there’s no humanitarian crisis. The FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, in its latest reports they list 37 countries where there is a humanitarian crisis. Venezuela is not among them. So I want to move away from overheated rhetoric. I want to help the Venezuelan people, and the Venezuelan people are not being helped by the economic war that is being waged against Venezuela, or also imposed by Canada and some countries of the European Union…

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Article
3 March 2018

“Essay on Venezuela”

Author: Alfred De Zayas

March 3, 2018

…Regardless what interventionist politicians and the media pretend, the situation in Venezuela does not reach the level of a humanitarian crisis.  True enough, there is scarcity of certain foods (https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13478), medicines and personal hygiene items, there are delays in distribution, there are long lines for rationed foods, there is anguish, there is zozobra, there are institutional and constitutional irregularities (like in so many countries of our suffering world!)  — but the situation is very far from a “humanitarian crisis” as we know from Gaza (Norman Finkelstein, Gaza, University of California Press), Yemen...Libya … Syria… Iraq …Haiti…Mali…Central African Republic…Sudan…Somalia…Myanmar …It is significant that when in 2017 Venezuela requested medical aid from the Global Fund, the plea was rejected because it “is still a high income country…and as such is not eligible.”…During my eight-day visit to Venezuela, I discussed this issue with experts from FAO…and CEPAL…The 2017 FAO report lists humanitarian crisis in 29 countries.  Venezuela is not among them. … Thanks to UNDP, we could convene a meeting with all UN agencies and other regional organizations operating in Venezuela with a view to coordinate advisory services and technical assistance, an initiative that bore fruit shortly thereafter…What are the causes of today’s economic crisis in Venezuela? The mainstream media would have us believe that it is attributable exclusively to the failure of the socialistic model … too many ideologues, too few technocrats, amateurs who do not know how to run the economy. Even if there is some truth to that, other factors weigh in, notably the fall of oil prices, Venezuela’s principal source of income…

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