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News > Venezuela

US Sanctions Caused Thousands of Deaths in Venezuela, GAO Says

  • A group of children on their home's rooftop in Petare, Venezuela, Dec. 20, 2021.

    A group of children on their home's rooftop in Petare, Venezuela, Dec. 20, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 February 2021

Venezuelan economy's performance has declined steadily for almost a decade since the imposition of U.S. sanctions in 2015.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) acknowledged that U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have killed tens of thousands of people and harmed the country's economy, especially by depressing its oil production.


Biden Rolls Back Some Trump's Sanctions on Venezuela

In a new report, GAO also recalled that the sanctions imposed on the country under former Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s administrations are also hindering U.S.-backed humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

The report “offers more evidence that the unilateral and illegal U.S. sanctions are a punishment against the Venezuelan people and they should be ended immediately,” Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said.

GAO noted that the financial sanctions imposed on Venezuela since 2015 led to a drop in oil production of 797 tons per day, which at current oil prices would represent US$16.9 billion per year in foregone oil revenues.

“This drop means fewer imports, including of food, medicines, medical equipment, and other health-related necessities,” Weisbrot added.

President Joe Biden ordered a review of U.S. economic sanctions on countries such as Venezuela, Iran, and Cuba to determine their humanitarian impact.

“This is positive. However, there is not much to assess. There is no reason to allow this crime from the Trump administration to continue,” the expert recalled.

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