UN rapporteur concerned over US sanctions against Venezuela
GENEVA – Anadolu Agency
Neighbors wait to receive bags of subsidized food distributed under a government program named "CLAP, " in the Catia district of Caracas, Venezuela on Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
"I am especially concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela," Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy said in a written statement.
Jazairy said the sanctions could trigger a health crisis.
"Sanctions which can lead to starvation and medical shortages are not the answer to the crisis in Venezuela," he said.
He noted that the crisis in Venezuela won't be solved by sanctions.
"Precipitating an economic and humanitarian crisis…is not a foundation for the peaceful settlement of disputes," he said.
Jazairy called for compassion for the Venezuelan people.
He also called on the international community to engage in constructive dialogue with Venezuela to resolve the problem.
On Jan. 28, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA and its U.S. subsidiary Citgo to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
The South American country has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions rose when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23.
Among those recognizing Guaido's claim were the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and the Organization of American States.
Bolivia and Mexico continued to recognize Maduro.
Russia, China and Iran also support Maduro, as does Turkey.
European heavyweights Britain, Germany, France and Spain have called on Maduro to announce fresh elections to ease the crisis.