sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has come out strongly against United States President Donald Trump’s latest sanctions on the South American country. These prohibit “all transactions” with “any digital currency” issued by the Venezuelan government — alluding to the cryptocurrency promoted by the Venezuelan authorities, known as “Petro”.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said US-imposed sanctions are making foreign debt renegotiation more difficult and that the government would look to work with other countries to alleviate their needs.

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has approved a proposal to hold presidential elections before April 30. 

The move came a day after the European Union announced sanctions targeting seven Venezuelan senior state officials on January 22.

Venezuela has hit back at the United States after it issued fresh threats to impose new sanctions against Venezuelan officials while attempting to derail the dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition.

Cuba has rejected outright new US restrictions that took effect on November 8, describing them as confirming an "upsurge" of the blockade imposed by Washington since 1962.

Cuba's top diplomat for the Americas, Josefina Vidal, said during a press conference on November 7 that the new measures to prevent US trade with and travel to the Caribbean island were "arbitrary."

It is important to understand the context and the intended (as well as likely) effects of the US administration's actions. With encouragement from Florida Senator Marco Rubio and other Republicans, US President Donald Trump has been trying to help topple the elected government of Venezuela.

Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza met with diplomatic representatives from the European Union and rejected the sanctions imposed by the EU against the South American country, on November 14.

"EU sanctions seek to intervene in Venezuela," Arreaza said during the meeting.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said recently that the rising number of Iranian asylum seekers coming to Australia are “economic migrants”. The overall rate of asylum seekers has increased this year and Iranians have become the largest group of people arriving by boat, making up about one third of the total.

Green Left columnist Carlos Sands rants, raves, and is literally moved to tears by the arguments of defenders of Israel in his second outing on Green Left TV. And as 19 Palestine solidarity activists face court in Melbourne, he has some choice words for Max Brenner and the Murdoch media.

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