UN human rights chief decries US choking of Venezuela as Trump mulls imposing ‘toughest’ sanctions

US economic pressure only contributes to Venezuela’s woes and will likely further affect the people’s “basic rights,” the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has warned, as the US threatens even tougher sanctions.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stepped up her criticism of the US policies against crisis-ridden Venezuela, saying that Washington’s approach only makes the situation there worse. Bachelet in particular expressed her concern over the sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil trade, as these “may contribute to aggravating the economic crisis” and have “repercussions on people’s basic rights and wellbeing.”

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It is not the first time the UN human rights chief has scolded Washington over its pressure against the Latin American country, which suffers from hyperinflation and other economic problems. On March 6, Bachelet said that the sanctions had fueled the crisis, which had reached an “alarming” state.

In Washington’s universe, however, all its actions are only helping Venezuelans. Even though President Donald Trump recently admitted that “something terrible is going on down there” – he assumed that it was only because the US was not tough enough.

The US could impose “a lot tougher” sanctions on Caracas to “to put an end” to the crisis, Trump said during a joint press conference with the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, while once again noting that “all options are open.” He also added unironically that Washington was “not looking for anything other than taking care of a lot of people.”

Caracas slammed Washington’s policies and rhetoric, with Venezuela’s representative to the UN office in Geneva, Jorge Valero Briceno, blaming the “baseless international media campaign” for totally distorting the reality there.

The United States government has been pillaging our economic resources and denying Venezuela the possibility of acquiring the necessary food and medicines for our people.

Valero said, adding that the real situation on the ground has been “distorted by the baseless international media campaign.”

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The US has been tightening the noose on Caracas in an effort to depose President Nicolas Maduro in favor of right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido. Throwing full support behind Venezuela’s self-proclaimed ‘interim president,’ Trump also repeatedly noted that he is not prepared to rule out the possibility of US military intervention.

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