Political Economy Journal: Venezuela and Iran’s victory over sanctions

BY: Valeria Rodriguez

PEJOURNAL – The arrival of Fortune and Forrest, those of the five Iranian ships with oil and additives for the production of gasoline to Venezuela is a victory of both countries over the criminal sanctions that the United States imposes on each of them.After September 11, 2011, the Bush administration understood that in order to have power in a globalized world, it must achieve financial hegemony since all the countries of the world need money to survive and operate in the 21st century, it creates financial trails that are difficult to hide, whoever has that information will have the power.

The use of economic warfare in history:

Perhaps the oldest and best-known example of financial warfare dates back to the time when Athens and Sparta were the two strongest city-states in the region, each leading its own competing coalition of allies.Athens was an economic power with a developed trading system and an advanced navy, while Sparta maintained a large and well-trained army.

The conflict broke out between the two over the city of Megara, which at the time was aligned with Sparta.Pericles sanctioned the “Decree of Megara” that excluded the merchants of that city to trade with the Delian League, allied to Sparta. Some historians maintain that this decree accelerated the Peloponnesian war.

This type of action continued for centuries but it was not until after the First World War that the major powers created the League of Nations to regulate international affairs.

The League of Nations Pact specifically formalized the use of economic sanctions as a tool to avoid conflicts, signaling the approval of the international community of these methods to change the behavior of certain countries.

Selective sanctions:

In the United Nations Charter, Chapter VII, the legal bases for the imposition of sanctions are found, which can be economic, cultural or political.According to Article 39 “The Security Council can determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach or act of aggression and will make recommendations or decide what measures will be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42 to maintain or restore peace and international security ”.

In turn, in relation to Art. 39, we must ask ourselves: Who determines what is just or unfair, legal or illegal in the international arena? Precisely these are not easily identifiable values  since the source of authority must be sought to determine their meaning and in this case, the members of the United Nations Security Council have an advantage over other countries.

It should also be noted that the doctrine of International Law has little clarity about the scale of norms, rules, principles or values  that must be applied.

On the other hand, what the United States does with the unilateral imposition of sanctions is to directly violate international law since they are used as a tool to oppress those countries that refuse their imperialist policies.

Although most of the time it is stated that sanctions and especially “selective sanctions” are aimed at the political leadership of the sanctioned countries, unfortunately sanctions are a forceful instrument that directly damages the people.

There is substantial evidence that sanctions are a kind of collective punishment that cause serious economic problems for the sanctioned people since they devastate the economic infrastructure of the countries in different sections and especially in the health sector.

The impact of sanctions on health is not limited to difficulties with the supply of medicines, but goes much further as they violate fundamental rights, such as living in dignity, access to health or adequate food. This conflicts with the United Nations Charter that proposes the defense of the Human Rights of the civilian population.

Iran and Venezuela :

These two countries not only have in common that they have unilateral sanctions by the United States, but they are also their main enemies due to the lack of “docility” and acting sovereignty.On the other hand, they have energy resources that are of interest to Trump, who despite the fact that during the unit’s speech he maintained that they have sufficient reserves, is at a crossroads due to the economic crisis that he has to go through.On the one hand, fluctuating oil prices led to the negotiation of a series of agreements between Opec and Opec plus, to keep the price low, but that was not enough since the unconventional oil industry is bankrupt and had to subsidize to various companies with state money.

On the other hand, the pandemic strongly impacted the North American country that has a deficit and private health system that has brought it to the first place in the Covid 19 ranking, in addition to the increase in historical unemployment that has already exceeded the 3 million people who They receive unemployment insurance, that without counting immigrants who do not qualify.

 Iran’s attitude towards Venezuela is one of solidarity and cooperation, despite the fact that characters such as former Trump adviser Michael Bolton urged that forceful measures be taken due to the presence of the Iranian tankers since, according to him, they constitute a danger.

For the continent, it became clear, at least for now, that the United States must resolve its problems before pursuing aggressive international policy.

Fortune and Forrest are the two of the five tankers that arrive with fuel to Venezuela, the other three are Petunia, Clavel, Flaxon and will be arriving in the coming days, thus opening a new stage in relations between Latin America and Western Asia.