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US sanctions responsible for 40,000 deaths in Venezuela in past 5 years, says Maduro


US SANCTIONS depriving citizens of food and medicines have caused at least 40,000 deaths in Venezuela over the past five years, President Nicolas Maduro has said in an open letter.

The Bolivarian leader cited research from the US Centre for Economic Policy & Research, which warned that the impact of the illegal blockade had led to the excessive deaths.

He called on people across the world to denounce the measures taken by Washington, which Mr Maduro said were designed to strangle the Venezuelan economy as part of its bid to overthrow the democratically elected government.

“Since 2014, the United States has approved a law and seven executive orders, as well as 300 administrative measures, which together make up a sophisticated multiform aggression against Venezuela,” he charged.

“Over the last five years, the blockade succeeded in cutting off financing to Venezuela, preventing it from accessing the required currency to acquire food, medicine, spare parts and essential raw materials for economic activity,” Mr Maduro wrote.

Washington has banned “the commercialisation of Venezuelan hydrocarbons, its main export product and source of fiscal income,” the president added, claiming that the US had confiscated money and assets from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA worth more than $40 billion (£30bn).

The US measures have been described as “crimes against humanity” by UN special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, Mr Maduro said, pointing out that Venezuela had filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court in February demanding action against those responsible.

And since Mr Maduro’s inauguration last January, Venezuela has foiled numerous coup attempts spearheaded by Washington stooge Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president soon after.

Earlier this year the US placed a bounty on the Venezuelan president’s head, branding the South American country a “narco-terror state” and mobilising warships to the region.

But Mr Maduro remains hopeful that international justice will be served for the “great damage the US has produced on a loving and hard-working people.”


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