Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza made a request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor on Thursday to investigate US sanctions imposed on Venezuela as crimes against humanity.
US economic sanctions on Venezuela have allegedly affected people’s rights to health, food and economic development.
The US has long imposed sanctions on Venezuela. Most recently, the Trump administration has issued economic sanctions through executive orders for Venezuela’s “human rights abuses and antidemocratic actions.” These sanctions prohibit the Venezuelan government from accessing US markets, which includes a blocking of Venezuela’s oil sector and Conaviasa airlines.
Arreaza believes this is a failed attempt to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. Arreaza said in a statement, “the consequences of US coercive unilateral measures are crimes against humanity and violate both international laws and the United Nations Charter.”
The ICC currently has an ongoing investigation into alleged crimes committed by the Venezuelan government. The ICC decided to investigate after six states filed a request alleging crimes committed in the context of demonstrations and political unrest. Human Rights Watch claims that Venezuelan security forces have tortured, killed, assaulted and used excessive force against civilians.