UN human rights expert Idriss Jazairy expressed concern Thursday over the impact on innocent Venezuelan citizens after the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s national oil company.
The US imposed sanctions earlier in the week in an attempt to oust President Nicolás Maduro for Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly. By stopping the export of Venezuela oil to the US, there is hope that the lack of revenue that the country is heavily dependent on would force negotiations or a peaceful transition of power.
Following the sanctions, there is some indication that Maduro is willing to negotiate with the opposition leader. However, Jazairy is concerned with the impact to locals who have to suffer the repercussions of the oil sanctions who already lack basic resources like food and medicine. Venezuela is struggling with hyperinflation and skyrocketing consumer prices for basic necessities that could potentially spur a refugee crisis with so many citizens fleeing the country.
Jazairy also believes that outside pressure and coercion to oust an elected leader in another country is outside the normal scope of international law and cites to the UN Declaration on the Principles of International Law to promote dialogue and peaceful cooperation between countries in lieu of economic sanctions.