Democratic Socialists of America calls on President Obama and the US Congress to end unjust sanctions against Venezuela
In the past year, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has been dismayed to see President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators led by Marco Rubio (R-FL) violate US and international law to impose sanctions against the nation of Venezuela. We call on the President and Congress to reverse these actions and stop seeking to undermine the Venezuelan people and their legitimate, democratically elected government.
In 2014, the U.S. Congress, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), passed a sanctions bill that targeted Venezuelan officials by threatening to deny them visas and to seize their assets. Activities around the U.S. embassy in Caracas leading up to the protest, and cables released by Wikileaks about U.S. plans in 2006, suggest that this action came in the midst of political violence and upheaval in Venezuela that was at least partly fomented by the U.S. government in an effort to undermine the elected government of Venezuela. In March 2015, President Obama issued EO 13692, an executive order declaring Venezuela a national security threat to the United States. A month later, he himself admitted in a press conference that this declaration was a "pro-forma" exercise to justify the imposition of sanctions that would otherwise be illegal, and that Venezuela does not, in fact, pose a real threat to the United States. Now, in the past month, Senator Rubio has engineered a deal to extend the sanctions another three years -- still without any factual basis for calling Venezuela a threat to the United States or any legal justification for these measures.
This kind of dishonest and cynical behavior is an embarrassment to all good people in the United States. For DSA, a group of activists committed to fighting for socialism and democracy in the U.S. and around the world, it is especially repulsive.
We therefore state our solidarity with the people of Venezuela and call on our own government to stop its illegal, unjust interference with Venezuela, specifically to repeal these terrible laws and reverse this dishonest executive order.