SANKTIONS AGAINST VENEZWUELA ARE A CRIME ( العقوبات ضد فنزويلا … جريمة!! )
الأردن العربي – الخميس 12/3/2020 م …
- What happened on February 13.2020?
On February 13, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela requested that the International Criminal Court
investigate serious crimes committed against the Venezue-
lan people by the Government of the United States due to the
imposition of an economic blockade and unilateral coer-
cive measures, euphemistically referred to as “sanctions.”
- what is the hnternational Criminal Court?
The International Criminal Court (ICC) (also known as
the International Criminal Tribunal) is a permanent court of
international law whose mission it is to judge people accu-
sed of committing genocide, warm crimes, crimes of ag-
gression and crimes against humanity. It is dierent from
the International Court of Justice, which is the legal body
within the United Nations that primarily handles controver-
sies between States.
The ICC is governed by the Rome Statute which was
adopted on July 17, 1998, and came into force on July 1, 2002.
The ICC is not part of the United Nations. Article 1 of the
Statute states that the ICC “shall have the power to exercise
its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of inter-
- What is the Rome Statute?
The Rome Statute is the constitutive instrument of the
International Criminal Court. It was adopted in the city of
Rome, Italy, on July 17, 2998. Venezuela was one of the rst
countries to sign (1998) and ratify (6/7/2002) the Statute,
and as such, it is a Member State to the Treaty.
The United States has not ratied the Statute and the-
refore is not part of the International Criminal Court. Ins-
tead, the U.S. Congress passed a law on August 2, 2002, the
American Service Members Protection Act, that excludes mili-
tary ocials and other members of the Government of the
United States, from being accountable to the ICC. With the
goal of weakening the body, it also signed agreements with
hundreds of countries to exclude U.S. nationals from its ju-
risdiction. Venezuela refused to sign such an agreement.
“116 billion dollars have been sto-
len from Venezuela, equivalent of
six years of the national budget”
- What does Venezuela’s lawsuit at
the ICC consist of?
There are three ways of referring a case to the ICC:
- It can be presented by a Member State to the ICC.
- It can be requested by the United Nations Security
- An ICC prosecutor can initiate an investigation.
Applying its rights as a Member State, in conformity
with Article 14 of the Statute, on February 13, Venezuela
referred a case to the Prosecutor of the International Crimi-
nal Court relating to the situation caused by the unilateral
coercive measures (UCM) applied by the United States go-
vernment against the Venezuelan people, requesting that
the Prosecutor investigate the commission of crimes codi-
ed in the Statute, in order to determine whether one or
multiple people should be accused for said crimes.
Although using the terminology of international crimi-
nal law this referral is not technically a “lawsuit”, in practi-
ce it has similar eects, as such referral and lawsuit can be
used as synonyms in this case.
- · The lawsuit (referral) presented to the ICC Prosecutor
indicates that the unilateral coercive measures imposed by
the United States against Venezuela, since at least 2014, cons-
titute a crime against humanity in accordance with Article
7 of the Rome Statute.
Which crimes form the basis
of Venezuela’s lawsuit?
How is it a crime against humanity?
Venezuela denounced that the UCMs comprise all the
elements of a crime against humanity in the terms speci-
ed under the Rome Statute:
- a) “an attack…” (non-military). An attack is a course of
conduct that implies the commission of multiple acts refe-
renced in Article 7, paragraph 1, of the Statute.
- b) “generalized or systematic…” It is not necessarily di-
rected against a specic group and is spread over time.
- c) “against a civilian population…”
- d) “in conformity with the policy of a State or organiza-
tion…” (as the United States government has done through
laws, executive orders and decisions, regulations, threats
and other diverse actions).
What is the content of the
The referral presented by Venezuela to the Prosecutor of
the International Criminal Court is divided into two prin-
- a) The Facts: This part details the situation in Venezuela
before the application of unilateral coercive measures by
the United States government. Moreover, it describes the
impact that UCMs have had on the Venezuelan economy,
the Venezuelan people’s enjoyment of human rights, and
the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s right to develop-
In the document presented to the ICC, Venezuela rela-
tes a group of cases and facts that have impacted the Vene-
zuelan population, such as the increase in infant and adult
mortality, the increase in diseases, the reduction of calo-
ric intake, the contraction in food imports, the impact on
public services such as education, potable water, electric
service and transport; all are attributable to the unilateral
coercive measures and other threats imposed on Venezue-
The lawsuit includes cases of patient deaths in the
country and abroad due to the high cost of treatment for
patients with kidney disease, bone marrow transplants and
liver transplants, that could not be paid by the Government