09 October 2020 ~ 5 Comentarios

Sanctions and rewards

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

It seems the right way to me. On October 8, Mike Pompeo announced the name of another sanctioned individual, José López Bello, one of the Venezuelans indicted. Pompeo is the US Secretary of State. Previously, he was the CIA director. The department that Pompeo heads today offers five million dollars as a reward to any person or group that puts López Bello before the US justice system. In the West, where bandits and bounty hunters roamed, the method paid off and put an end to that plague. In those days the operations were tougher: “Wanted, dead or alive.”

Colombian-Venezuelan Alexis Saab, an alleged thief, can attest that the matter is being taken seriously. He is being held in Cabo Verde awaiting extradition to New York or Miami, where he will be on trial. He is accused of having stolen, in collusion with the Venezuelan authorities, hundreds of millions of dollars related to the food that the dictatorship imports for the “people”. In short, he is accused of being part of the international network of organized crime that plagues Venezuela, where all of them are “wallowing together”–Iran, the FARC, the ELN and other unpresentable criminals.

The perception that Venezuela is an infectious pigsty whose government is part of the transnational organized crime is very important. Recently, this became evident at the UN. A vote was taken to determine if a commission watching over the violation of human rights in Venezuela should remain in place for two more years. It was the same commission, chaired by Michelle Bachelet, which had published an exhaustive analysis of the crimes committed by Maduro’s henchmen. As expected, Cuba and Venezuela moved behind the scenes trying to get the proposal rejected.

The outcome: Twenty-two countries voted in favor of keeping that sword of Damocles on Maduro’s neck, 22 abstained (which was a shameful way to pass the resolution) and only three nations dared to vote in favor of Caracas.

What nations were capable of supporting the dictator Maduro? The government of Venezuela, Eritrea, which votes what Cuba suggests, and the Philippines, ruled by the lawyer Rodrigo Duterte, a kind of crazy “vigilante”, who has had thousands of people killed extrajudicially, accused of drug use or trafficking.

The composition of the three groups is very interesting. In the one that approved the resolution, there are many established democracies, including Argentina, where President Alberto Fernández himself instructed the Foreign Ministry to oppose the Maduro regime, contradicting the instructions of his vice president Cristina F. Kirchner.

The group that abstained includes almost all the Islamic states and some African satrapies that are part of the UN Human Rights Commission. However, López Obrador’s Mexico is also part of that group. López Obrador is a colorful character who has serious problems with the violations committed in his country that he does not want to face, among them, the heinous murders of 43 Ayotzinapa students.

As the political scientist Sánchez Berzaín has repeatedly emphasized, the problem of regimes such as Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua –Bolivia and Ecuador have provisionally eluded this characterization– should not be seen within the ideological framework, but from the perspective of transnational organized crime, for which there is an antidote–the Palermo Convention, organized under the auspices of the UN in order to confront the mafias.

At the same time, the specialist Sánchez Berzaín has warned against the immobility of international organizations. What’s the use of the denunciations by the OAS, the Lima Group, or the UN, if the regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua continue to exercise power, even if they violate human rights and impoverish their peoples insensibly?

It is true, even though at least the punishments come with a full name. The sanctions and rewards program did not begin with President Trump, but in 1986 with Ronald Reagan. However, it has been enriched and used by the Democratic administrations of Clinton and Obama, so it is ridiculous to expect that whoever occupies the White House will eliminate it.

Over the years, the State Department has doled out $130 million and will continue “honoring its commitments.” So far 75 major criminals have ended up behind bars. That will continue, no matter what happens in the November 3 election. For sure.

5 Responses to “Sanctions and rewards”

  1. manuel 12 October 2020 at 11:30 am Permalink

    Julian Perez
    12 October 2020 at 9:43 am

    Manuel, hot Burt Prelutsky se las apañó para echarme un cubo de agua fría. Aún no he encontrado una forma sólida de rebatirle su primer párrafo.


    >>Sometimes, I find myself wondering if a Trump victory in November can do anything but slightly delay the end of the great American experiment. The fact that over 60 million Americans will go out on Election Day and vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris clearly shows how far down the road to perdition we have come.

    muy a tono con el pesimismo de Victor Lopez

    • manuel 12 October 2020 at 11:56 am Permalink

      no es perdición que tanta gente vote. Ud. mismo voto por Hillary y ahora lo hará por Trump: todo es fluido, y es una batalla constante y ha sido así por 200 años, con el aditivo sin precedente del masivo acceso a las redes de la información y el desprestigio de los medios y las escuelas, lo que produce un panorama imposible saber hacia donde evolucionará en los próximos diez años

      • manuel 12 October 2020 at 11:57 am Permalink

        yo habria votado dos veces por Obama, y ahora lo hago 2 por trump

        todo fluido, amigo

        • manuel 12 October 2020 at 11:58 am Permalink

          unos estan yendo, mientras otros venimos de vuelta y en el camino creamos turbulencias, pero en esencia el sistema se mantiene inalterable en sus pilares fundamentales

          • manuel 12 October 2020 at 11:58 am Permalink

            al menos por ahora

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