Homeland Venezuelans require lifting of US sanctions


OPEC members have always benefited from wars, which usually generate increases in oil prices and, by extension, improvements in GDP per capita of member countries. If Russia had not invaded Ukraine, Venezuela and Iran would probably have to suffer sanctions indefinitely.

It is understandable that Venezuelan exiles in the United States, who participate in generating GDP for their new homeland, would welcome deterioration of GDP at their birthplace. Those of us who generate wealth in Venezuela, including Chevron and citizens who have not left the country, need sanctions to be lifted.

Residents of Venezuela have suffered because of Obama, Trump and Biden sanctions. Decline in our GDP accelerated percentage-wise, from an average -3% per year before 2015 sanctions, to an average -20% per year until dismal 2020 readings. Fans of further sanctions fail to convey intended benefits of their choicest policies, to impoverished Venezuelans.

It is perverse to encourage emigration of sanctioned population, to foreign non-sanctioned lands. In their places of destination, those who escaped sanctions may support stiffening of sanctions against their compatriots, who remain in the sanctioned territory. Thus they guarantee legalizing their own migratory documentation, to the satisfaction of regimes in receiving nations.

Polarization in forthcoming electoral cycle seems to confront homeland vs. diaspora. Hence residents of homeland resent facilitating exacerbation of complaints and impositions from the diaspora. Just as diaspora justifies economic sanctions against homeland, the homeland proposes political sanctions against the diaspora, due to their conflict of interest. Even if accused of collaborating, political opposition at dialogue in Unitary platform is correct in not allowing itself to be blackmailed by radical intransigence.

Venezuelans not residing within national territory are unfamiliar with current domestic ways of life. Expatriates in Florida are particularly hostile to any improvement in domestic Venezuelan economy. Those who left Cuba sixty years ago have promoted sanctions against their country. They are responsible for the misery of Cubans on the island while state of Florida prospers.

Diaspora should accept with resignation that it obeys a number of interests of its host countries. Those of us who resist in our homeland will continue to fight until sanctions against us are lifted. Economic agents contributing to Venezuelan GDP have the same right of access to the international community, as those located in non-sanctioned countries.

Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale features exquisite restaurants similar to those recently launched in Las Mercedes, Caracas. Staying in Venezuela does not mean exclusively visiting hotdogs stands whenever we choose dining out. It is premature to celbrate succesful completion of recovery. Several years of sustained growth are required. It is important today to lift sanctions to foster acceleration of improvement.

Sanctions are punishment against Venezuelans residing in Venezuela. Those who managed to flee the country, as a result of such sanctions, today enjoy a quality of life, representative of non-sanctioned countries. Sanctioned Venezuelans refers exclusively to Venezuelans residing in national territory, excluding those who were urged by opposition parties to escape.

Rubén Rivero

Caracas, Venezuela