US sanctions on Venezuela pose opportunity for Namibia

25 May 2019 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 25 MAY (NAMPA) – While the United States of America (US) imposes sanctions on Venezuela, it presents the South American country an opportunity to strengthen ties with Namibia and Africa, Venezuelan Ambassador to Namibia Omar Paredes has said.
Responding to questions sent by Nampa on Friday, Paredes said with the myriad of resources between Venezuela and Namibia, the current situation can provide an opportunity for commerce and trade as well as exchange of commodities.
This was an issue highlighted by the late former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez-Frias among the outcomes at the second Africa-South America Summit 2009.
The Africa-South America Summit is a diplomatic conference between the countries in South America and Africa to discuss topics such as the adoption of strategies and measures that will translate the vision of the Africa-South America Cooperative Forum into concrete economic, political and social benefits.
Currently, the US has blocked and confiscated Venezuelan financial assets, banned operations with gold and crypto currencies, put sanctions on the oil trade and against the Central Bank of Venezuela while applying fines and administrative penalties on trade.
“To date, around N.dollars 78 billion (US.dollars 5.4 billion) of Venezuelan funds which are meant for basic resources such as food and medicine are frozen and confiscated by international banks,” Paredes said.
Venezuela has been going through political turmoil since the death of Chavez in March 2013, with opposition parties trying to oust incumbent president Nicolas Maduro.
On 23 January 2019, Juan Guaido, the leader of the legislature, declared himself acting president just two weeks after Maduro had been sworn into office for a second six-year term.
Minutes afterwards, US president Donald Trump recognised Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, something some European and African countries consider to be an attempted coup.
Maduro responded by giving US diplomats in the country 72 hours to leave.
France and other countries as well as large economies of the world are adhering to the US sanctions and blockages despite the UN Security Council not endorsing or having imposed these sanctions.
“Inter-country treaties, corporative interests, pressure and in some cases lack of accurate information may explain the adherence of other governments to the US-led illegal sanctions on the Venezuelan people,” Paredes added.