Hands off Venezuela

Amid severe shortages of medicines and medical supplies, a Chinese cargo plane with 68 tons of relief materials and medical aid arrived Monday in Caracas, Venezuela, according to Xinhua. They will be delivered to medical centers in the country.

It is no exaggeration to say that Venezuela is facing its darkest hour. Inflation is skyrocketing. Daily commodities and public resources are in serious scarcity. The hardest hit by the ongoing crisis? Children, who are now being deprived of education, suffering from hunger, malnutrition and a shortage of medicine. In January, The Guardian reported that the Venezuela crisis was taking a “deadly toll on buckling health system.” One of the reasons for the crisis is US harsh sanctions against the country.

It is the responsibility of the international community as well as the basic stance of people with humanitarian sympathy to ensure the Venezuelan people’s basic quality of life. The UN has already called on countries to provide humanitarian aid to the country in accordance with the principles of neutrality.

To help Venezuela overcome its difficulties and following a consistent principle of humanitarian aid, China began to deliver medical supplies in March, helping Venezuelan people surmount the negative effects of external interference and sanctions with no political conditions attached. This is also in line with China’s stance of opposition to unilateral US sanctions.

External intervention and sanctions can hardly resolve anything. They will only complicate the situation. The attempt to change the government in Venezuela through sanctions is a grave violation of basic UN Charter principles. This hegemonic practice by Washington is a major cause of turmoil in many parts of the world.

China is one of Venezuela’s vital economic and trade partners. Their long-term cooperation has benefited people from both sides. While the US is unilaterally imposing sanctions against Venezuela, Beijing has been providing the country with humanitarian assistance, adhering to its consistent position against hegemonism in international affairs. China also hopes there can be more countries willing to extend an olive branch to Venezuela, promoting a constructive resolution to the crisis in favor of the nation’s stability, economic development and people’s living standards while respecting Venezuelan sovereignty.

Venezuela is in need of change. But how to change should depend on its own people. Sanctions and extreme pressure have lasted months, but have proven inefficient. In the end, they only hit ordinary people and exacerbated the chaos.

If the US wishes to restore its influence in Latin America, it must first of all show respect for others’ sovereignty, instead of rude interference. It’s time for Washington to consider lifting the sanctions as soon as possible. Otherwise, the reputation of the US will be further jeopardized.

(In association with Global Times)

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Venezuela Cartoon showing US internvention for oil by Carlos Latuff