South American country calculates losses from US sanctions
Venezuela has lost around $29 billion a year since the US imposed sanctions on the country in 2015, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told state-run Venezolana de Television channel on Friday.
The sanctions were initially imposed by the administration of President Barack Obama, but Rodriguez said the most harmful measure was the oil embargo introduced under Donald Trump in 2019 with the aim of effecting regime change in the country.
“Since 2015, the loss has been $232 billion… which in some years meant a 99% loss of our income in foreign currency,” she stated, adding that sanctions of that magnitude are “a way of completely annihilating entire nations.”
Rodriguez said this lack of income “translates into the loss of life, food, education and healthcare,” and “halts economic development” of the country.
According to the vice president, the US has imposed more than 20,000 sanctions on 35 countries and is currently “at war, either economic or armed, with the entire world, trying to ensure its future existence.”
In the case of Venezuela alone, Rodriguez said the US and its allies have imposed some 929 sanctions on the country since declaring Caracas to be a “threat to national security” in 2015. Around 60% of these have been imposed by Washington.
“The economic war against Venezuela has meant a systematic violation of human rights… The victim of these sanctions is also the private sector in Venezuela, which has extraordinary financial costs – logistics for a Venezuelan businessman are much more expensive than for a businessman from neighboring Colombia, for example, because financial channels and access to raw materials have been blocked,” she explained.
During the past eight years, Venezuela has suffered one of the largest economic contractions in the history of the Western hemisphere, analysts say. And while the current US administration allowed energy major Chevron to resume limited oil production in the country late last year, the majority of sanctions remain in place and continue to weigh on the country’s economy.
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