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Expert: US unilateral sanctions against Venezuela caused hundreds, if not thousands deaths

Former UN independent expert Alfred-Maurice de Zayas stressed that Caracas "has endured the illegal unilateral coercive measures" of the US "for many years"

WASHINGTON, April 21. /TASS/. Unilateral sanctions of the US against Venezuela caused hundreds, if not thousands deaths. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, former UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order from 2012 to 2018, expressed this opinion in an interview to a TASS correspondent.

He stressed that Caracas "has endured the illegal unilateral coercive measures" of the US "for many years".

De Zayas, who is an expert on human rights and international law, recalled that the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council "have repeatedly condemned unilateral coercive measures because of their adverse impact on the enjoyment of human rights by innocent populations."

"Undoubtedly the sanctions against Venezuela have caused hundreds if not thousands of deaths," de Zayas said responding to a question about the impact of the US sanctions on the Venezuelan authorities. He stressed that the UN "should quantify the casualties, the increase in maternal mortality, in infant mortality, the premature death because of malnutrition and lack of access to medicines like insulin, anti-malaria medicines, anti-retroviral drugs etc".

"To the extent that the number of deaths has been increasing dramatically, the sanctions actually constitute a crime against humanity under the definition of article 7 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court," the expert said.

According to him, most serious restriction is "the financial blockade that prevents the transfer of moneys from and to Venezuela and which have made it very difficult for Venezuela to obtain foods and medicines abroad".

The expert said that the best solution to the problems of Venezuela are in the Montevideo Mechanism hosted by Mexico and Uruguay.

Their plan provides for several stages, including the immediate launch of a dialogue, the negotiation process, the development of an agreement and its implementation.

"The international community should demand is an end to the sanction, to the financial blockade, to the economic war. If Venezuela could buy and sell like any other country the "humanitarian crisis" would be solved," de Zayas concluded.