Maximum pressure is a Trump regime euphemism for unlawful political, economic and financial collective punishment against a sovereign state, its leadership and population — for not bending to Washington’s will.
Binding international law Fourth Geneva’s Article 33 prohibits it, stating:
“No (one) may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.”
“Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
“Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against (individuals) and their property are prohibited.”
Fourth Geneva and other international laws to which the US is a signatory are automatically constitutional law.
The US under Republicans and undemocratic Dems operate by their own rules exclusively, time and again breaching the UN Charter and other binding international laws, norms and standards — by waging war on humanity at home and abroad.
Venezuela and Iran are in the eye of the Trump regime’s “maximum pressure” storm, the world community collectively and UN doing nothing to challenge its lawless actions.
In May 2018, Pompeo issued the following Orwellian statement, saying:
“The United States stands with the brave people of Venezuela as they strive for a return to dignity and democracy (sic).”
Fact: The Bolivarian Republic is the hemisphere’s preeminent social democracy, the majority of its revenues directed toward providing vital services to all its people — polar opposite how the US and other Western states operate.
Fact: US policy toward Venezuela from the Clinton co-presidency to Trump has been and continues aiming to replace its democratic rule with US-controlled fascist tyranny.
Fact: That’s what Trump and hardliners infesting his regime are going all out to institute short of hot war — so far. While unlikely, by no means is it ruled out.
Fact: Key for the US is controlling Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, the world’s largest, along with sending a message to the world community that nations unwilling to bow to its will face the force of its wrath.
Effective August 5 by executive order, Trump unlawfully ordered an embargo of Venezuela, prohibited by international law unless ordered by the UN Security Council. No nations may legally take this action on their own.
Under Trump’s executive order, nations, entities or individuals maintaining normal relations with Venezuela, their legal right, face (unlawful) US sanctions and other harshness.
On Tuesday, neocon hardliner Bolton said
“(w)e are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with (Maduro). Proceed with extreme caution.”
Anyone continuing normal relations with Venezuela “risk(s) (their) business interests with the United States.”
He called support for Maduro by Russia, China and other nations “intolerable.” He mocked talks between government representatives and opposition elements in Barbados as “buying time (sic),” adding:
“We will not fall for these old tricks (sic),” again stressing “all options are on the table.”
In July, Trump’s envoy for regime change in Venezuela Elliott Abrams said he’s “absolutely” confident of Maduro’s ouster by yearend.
Asked how Caracas intends to respond to Trump’s new executive order, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said:
“I’m going to paraphrase Donald Trump…All options are on the table.”
A Foreign Ministry statement said
“Washington has issued another executive order that aims to formalize the criminal economic, financial and trade embargo already underway, which has caused severe harm to Venezuelan society in recent years,” adding:
“The ruling elite in the United States aim to grant legal status to the embargo of all assets and properties belonging to the Venezuelan state.”
Venezuela’s UN envoy Samuel Moncada asked Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council to intervene against the Trump regime, saying:
“This is an act of war by the United States. Venezuela is not a threat to anyone and the United States is fabricating this aggression just to take the oil.”
On issues of war and peace, the UN is a virtual appendage of US imperial policies. US Security Council veto power prevents the body from censuring its unlawful actions.
Separately, Moncada denounced “the racist-ever (US regime) in the history of this continent…trying to fabricate a war on Venezuela,” adding:
“The militarization of the relations with Venezuela is one of the dangers that we are trying to expose.”
The Trump regime is an enemy of “international peace,” Bolton (and its other hardliners “enem(ies) of dialogue.”
On Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called new Trump regime actions against Venezuela “economic terror,” adding:
“Such steps have no legal basis either in terms of international or domestic Venezuelan law. Obviously, the White House is driven by the ideology of intolerance and dictatorship, which are put above the interests of Venezuelans.”
She stressed that Moscow will continue to support legitimate President Maduro.
Russia’s upper house Federation Council International Affairs chairman Konstantin Kosachev denounced Trump executive order on Venezuela, calling it an act of “international banditry.”
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier warned that more sanctions on Venezuela “will only bring the law of the jungle…It is up to the people of a country to decide its internal affairs” — free from foreign interference.
Beijing supports Venezuela, Wang earlier saying the relationship with Maduro will be maintained “no matter how the situation evolves,” adding at the time:
“China will continue to support the search for a political solution in Venezuela through dialogue with the government and the opposition, so as to keep the country stable and the people safe.”
Trump’s action upped the stakes. His regime instituted similar actions against Iran.
In a letter by its UN envoy Takht-e Ravanchi to Secretary General Guterres, he said the following:
“Infatuated with rogue, unreasonable conducts at the international level, this well signifies that the US regime despises diplomacy, which is one of the greatest achievements of humanity to preserve and uphold peace and security among nations,” adding:
“It reveals the deeply-rooted hypocrisy of the United States’ authorities in their different but paradoxical claims.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deems such illegal action a flagrant infringement of the fundamental principles of diplomatic law, in particular the principle of inviolability and immunity of high-ranking foreign officials, including immunity of incumbent ministers of foreign affairs, as a universally accepted norm and rule of customary international law.”
“The US’ illegal action is also in brazen violation of Article 105(2) of the United Nations Charter regarding the privileges and immunities of representative of Member States in exercising their functions in connection with the United Nations.”
“In this context, any restriction on discharging the duties of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is also in contravention of the Convention on the Privileges and immunities of the United Nations, the well-established customary principles enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations.”
“Likewise, it is in contradiction with many relevant consensual resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, the latest of which is resolution 73/212 that, by underlining the obligation of the United States for the observance of the privileges and immunities of the missions accredited to the United Nations, ‘which cannot be subject to any restrictions arising from the bilateral relations of the host country, urges the host country to remove without delay any restrictions applied (and) ensure respect for such privileges and immunities.”
“Coercing nations into complying with the United States’ illegal demands threatens multilateralism, as the foundation of international relations, and sets a dangerous precedent, paving the way for those who aspire to rather divide, not unite, nations.”
Ravanchi called on the international community and world body to condemn unlawful US actions — maybe someday, not any time soon.
Today is the most perilous time in world history because of US rage for dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations by whatever it takes to achieve its imperial objectives.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.