Venezuela and sanctions

De'Andre Crenshaw
2 min readOct 20, 2023

I have been delighted to see the first part of what I hope is a more rational policy and humane treatment for Central and South America. The Biden Administration pursued a deal with Venezuela that would see an easing of sanctions with a promise to conduct free and fair elections. But I have to be candid; although we often pursue policies meant to improve the conditions of people, we frequently mess up. Our policies, like sanctions, immiserate people we claim to champion.

Often, we use sanctions, blockades, and tariffs to destabilize a state in the hopes it will make them acquiesce to our demands. This rarely happens, what does is many of the targets double down while the citizens suffer. If the plight of the people isn’t bad enough the destabilized state often causes trouble for the region because it often causes an increase in migrants fleeing said state and the trips are often dangerous not just because of the weather, distance, terrain, but also the smugglers who are often trafficking or putting people in dangerous positions because their focus is money not safety.

I am asking lawmakers again to remove all sanctions on Latin America. We have pursued failed policy after failed policy to topple or change governments only to harm the people we are trying to help; this has to stop. Causing poverty, starvation, or worse, doesn’t help and hasn’t helped most of Latin America, a fact not lost on most of Latin America. Even worse it is a root cause for most of the migration we, along with allies in the regions, also struggle with at our borders.

It is not lost on me that Venezuela is getting partial sanction relief only because we need oil, but this is a start, and we should pivot to removing sanctions on and repairing the region. We have done so much damage with our border policy, and treatment of Latin America. It is one of the most morally reprehensible things we have done and still do now is the time to do right by our neighbors. We should invest in them and be partners with them not just because it helps our borders but because it helps relieve so many people from poverty.

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