Keys to understand the action taken by Venezuela in defense of its sovereignty and the human rights of the Venezuelan people
Unilateral coercive measures constitute a violation of the express prohibition of the United Nations Charter that prohibits the use of forces against civilian populations. Sanctions kill in this sense, unilateral coercive measures constitute a direct tool of aggression against the people.
From December 2014 to 2020 there has been a timeline that is important to document and has to do with how they have been suffocating the national oil industry, they have directly attacked PDVSA, they have subtracted financial, logistical and administrative operations from our national industry. , directly affecting revenues in Venezuela that have fallen by more than 90.5%. Its objective is to create the economic collapse in Venezuela causing suffering to the entire population. As today, 176 Venezuelan public entities have been unlawfully sanctioned, 133 officials have been sanctioned, 22 natural persons for having an economic, financial or commercial relationship with Venezuela; 9 foreign ships have been sanctioned for transporting Venezuelan crude, 40 PDVSA ships were sanctioned, 15 CONVIASA aircraft sanctioned, 41 PDVSA aircraft have been sanctioned, 9 Venezuelan companies have been sanctioned, 9 Venezuelan state companies and 61 related foreign companies with Venezuela.
10 key points to understand the action taken by Venezuela in defense of the national sovereignty and human rights of the Venezuelan people
1 What happened on 13
On February 13, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela presented a complaint (remission) to the International Criminal Court for investigation
the serious crimes committed against the Venezuelan population by the United States Government, due to the
imposition of an economic blockade and unilateral coercive measures called, euphemistically, “sanctions”.
2 What is the Court
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent international court of justice whose mission’s to try the
people accused of committing crimes of genocide,
war, aggression and against humanity. It is an organism
other than the International Court of Justice, a judicial body
of the United Nations that mainly deals with controversies between States.
The ICC is governed by the Rome Statute adopted on 17
July 1998, which entered into force on July 1, 2002. The
CPI is not part of the United Nations. The Statute verbatim establishes in its article one (1) that this instance: shall be empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over persons
regarding the most serious crimes of international significance in accordance with this Statute (…).
3 What is the
The Rome Statute is the constitutive instrument of the
International Criminal Court. He was adopted in the city of
Rome, Italy, on July 17, 1998. Venezuela was one of
the first countries to sign (1998) and ratify (7-6-2002) the
Statute and therefore is a State Party to this Treaty.
For its part, the United States did not ratify the Statute and
Consequently, it is not part of the International Criminal Court. On the contrary, the US Congress issued a
Act on August 2, 2002, the American Service Members Protection Act, which excludes military officers and other members of the United States Government, from liability
criminal before the ICC. With the intention of weakening this body, it also signed agreements with a hundred countries of
exclusion for its nationals. Venezuela refused to subscribe to said exclusion.
We have been robbed of the equivalent of
six years Venezuelan State general budget
4 What is the referral
presented by Venezuela
before the ICC?
There are three ways to present a situation to the knowledge of the ICC:
∙ By referral from one of the States Parties
∙ At the request of the UN Security Council.
∙ On the initiative of the ICC Prosecutor to initiate a
In use of his rights as a State Party, contemplated in article 14 of the Statute, on February 13
Venezuela referred to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court the situation caused by coercive measures
unilateral (MCU) applied by the government of States
United against Venezuela for the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the
commission of some of the offenses established in the Statute, and determine if a
or several people.
Although the Remission in the terms of International Criminal Law is not technically a “complaint”, in
practice has similar effects, so the terms
referral and complaint can be used as synonyms
5 What were the crimes
denounced by Venezuela?
The complaint (referral) submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office of the
CPI indicates that unilateral coercive measures (MCU)
imposed by the US against Venezuela, from at least
in 2014, they constitute a Crime Against Humanity,
provided for in article 7 of the Rome Statute.
6 Why crimes against humanity?
Venezuela denounced that the MCUs comprise all
the elements of the crime against humanity, in the terms provided in the Rome Statute, namely:
to. “… an attack …” (non-military). An attack is a line
of conduct that involves multiple commission of acts
referred to in paragraph 1 of article 7 of the Statute.
b. “… generalized or systematic …” (does not necessarily target a specific group and extends over time)
c. «… against a civilian population …»
d. “… In accordance with the policy of a State or of
an organization… »(as it has effectively carried out
the North American Government, through laws, decrees, executive decisions, regulations, threats and other multiform actions).
7 What is the
content of the complaint?
The referral submitted by Venezuela to the Prosecutor of
The International Criminal Court is divided into two main parts:
to. The Facts: This part details what was the situation in Venezuela before the application of measures
unilateral coercives by the US government.
Likewise, the impact that the MCUs have generated on the operation of the Venezuelan economy, in the
enjoy the human rights of the Venezuelan people,
and in the right to development of the Bolivarian Republic
In the document introduced to the ICC Venezuela, it relates a group of cases and facts that have impacted
to the Venezuelan population, such as the increase in infant and adult mortality, the increase in diseases, the reduction in caloric intake, the contraction in food imports, the impact on
public services such as education, water service
drinking, electrical service, and transportation; attributable to
unilateral coercive measures and other threats imposed on Venezuela.
Venezuela denounces cases of patient deaths
in Venezuela and abroad, undergoing treatments
high cost that could not be paid by the Government of Venezuela due to the blocking of bank accounts and resources in the international financial system, such as kidney patient treatments, bone marrow transplantation
and liver transplant.
The strong impacts on public finances and in particular the reduction of the country’s income are exposed
due to the restrictions applied by the financial system
international, a phenomenon that has significantly reduced the State’s ability to dedicate resources to
attention to social problems.
Finally, the referral relates the impacts of the blockade and the expropriation of oil assets on trade
Venezuelan oil company.
b. The Law: This part argues about the illegality of unilateral coercive measures, detailed
what are the crimes that your application has generated and
the aspects of jurisdiction and admissibility are developed
before the ICC.
8 Is the ICC competent?
to judge authorities
from the United States?
The United States of America has not ratified the Rome Statute and is therefore not a State Party to that instrument.
Therefore, in the document recorded by Venezuela
to the ICC, the thesis of “jurisdiction of effects” or “jurisdiction based on effects” is invoked.
That is, although the crimes were committed from the United States, a country that is not part of the Rome Statute, the
harmful effects of crime occur in the territory of the
State party, namely Venezuela, affecting its population
The document presented by Venezuela cites various cases known to the ICC where the Office of the Prosecutor confirmed its competence to investigate nationals of States
they are not part of the Rome Statute.
For this reason, the ICC does have jurisdiction to judge
authorities of the United States for the unilateral coercive measures applied against Venezuela.
9 What is the procedure that the complaint will follow?
After the document is filed with the Prosecutor’s Office of
the ICC, it is up to the Prosecutor to make inquiries that
lead to a preliminary examination and subsequently initiate an investigation to determine whether it was committed
any of the crimes provided for in the Rome Statute and the
person or persons responsible for such events.
It is not Venezuela’s responsibility to point out or identify the
responsible people, because that task must be carried out by the
10 What is Venezuela looking for
with this complaint?
As President Nicolás Maduro has expressed it,
Venezuela uses the corresponding international bodies to seek justice.
The United States has caused immeasurable damage to the people of Venezuela, which is measured by affecting the
life and health of millions of people, and especially
vulnerable groups: boys, girls, adolescents, people with functional diversity, older adults, patients and
sick. The serious impacts on access to food,
medicines, and in general, to essential goods for the
economy and national life violate human rights
and they condition the development, sovereignty and independence of Venezuela.
Our State seeks to make visible and sensitize our
people and the world about these serious crimes. Finally
point out and judge those responsible and press for the repeal of these illegal measures, in violation of the Law
International and human dignity.