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Sanctions

Europe At The ‘Hot Gates’!

2,500 years ago, the myth goes, 300 Spartans faced a much larger military force from the East at Thermopylae, a small mountain pass in ancient central Greece. Thermopylae is the Latin word for ‘Hot Gates’, as the area featured hot springs. In European history the ‘hot gates’ battle ended with the 300 Spartans annihilated. The Persians had opened a second front to the rear of the Spartan line which then collapsed, wiping them out to the man. The ‘hot gates’ was thus a defeat, although in later mythology it was spun as a strategic victory that bought time for the Greeks to mobilize to fight another day. Having bought time at Thermopylae is debatable, however, given that the battle of the ‘hot gates lasted only three days!

US Exploits Animosity Towards Migrants To Demonize Socialist Countries

The Republican party has been waging a blatantly racist campaign to criminalize migrants. Instead of pushing back on that narrative, the party that purports to be for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Democrats) is exploiting this racist anger to discredit a country it has targeted for regime change—Nicaragua—apparently for not sufficiently suppressing the rights of migrants. As Congresswoman Maria Salazar (R-FL) told a Biden administration representative at a recent hearing, “We agree on the end goal.” This is part of a relentless campaign to punish countries that dare to resist Washington’s agenda with suffocating unilateral coercive measures (aka “sanctions”).

How Safe Is Nicaragua? A Comparative Reflection

Nicaraguan children march before a baseball tournament in Matagalpa. Having a government that promotes communitarian trust and supports meeting the needs of everyone seems to be a crucial factor in whether people feel “safe.” On the night before I was married in 1985, during the wedding rehearsal dinner, my “best man,” Gary MacEoin, knew that my wife and I were heading to Nicaragua a week later, where the country was in the middle of the Contra War. My wife’s parents were concerned for our safety. Gary proposed a toast, “To the second safest city in the hemisphere…Managua!”

Iran Imposes Sanctions On US Officials For Suppressing Student Protests

The ministry announced in a statement on Wednesday that the punitive measures were taken in accordance with the Law on “Countering the Violation of Human Rights and Adventurous and Terrorist Activities of the United States in the Region”, (2017) particularly Article 5, which blacklists the following American individuals for their involvement in violation of human rights by quashing the peaceful rallies. Accordingly, their accounts and transactions will be blocked in the Iranian financial and banking systems, and their assets will be frozen within the jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic of Iran. No visa grating their entry to the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be issued as well.

International Olympic Committee Must Sanction Israel Over Its Genocidal War

Like apartheid South Africa, Israel uses its participation in international sport as a tool for normalizing its systematic discrimination against Palestinians. In response, Palestinians are making the same calls for boycotts as black South Africans did. Palestinian civil society groups are urging us to isolate Israel and hold it accountable for breaches of international law and crimes against humanity. The indiscriminate killing being conducted in Gaza, described by many as the first live-streamed genocide, is just the latest example of industrial-scale slaughter of Palestinians by Israel’s leaders. In January this year Israel killed the Palestinian Olympic football coach, Hani Al Masdar, and destroyed the office of the Palestinian Olympic Committee in Gaza.

Venezuela Edges Closer To Losing CITGO As Corporations Submit Offers

The second and final round of bidding in a court-mandated auction of Venezuela’s US-based oil subsidiary CITGO has concluded. Several corporations submitted binding offers by a June 11 deadline as part of a process organized by a Delaware District Court to satisfy a number of claims against the Caribbean nation totaling US USD 21.3 billion. In October 2022, Judge Leonard P. Stark set in motion the sale of shares belonging to PDV Holding (PDVH), CITGO’s parent company. The process was brought forward by Canadian miner Crystallex. The auction procedure will pay 18 creditors, which are looking to collect on international arbitration awards on a “first come, first serve basis,” based on when the court approved their writs.

United States Passes Controversial Bill To Sanction ICC

In a highly controversial move, the US House of Representatives has voted to pass a bill to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its staff. The bill comes as a response to the ICC’s efforts to prosecute Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza. The legislation, which passed yesterday with a vote of 247-155, has been seen by many as a clear demonstration of the unwavering support that Israel enjoys among the majority of US lawmakers across both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Maldives Bans Israeli Passport Holders In Solidarity With Palestine

The Maldives announced on 2 June that it will ban Israeli passport holders from entering the archipelagic state in protest over Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip. Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu “resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports,” said a spokesman for his office, without giving details on when the decision would take effect. The president’s office said the country has decided to alter laws in order to prevent Israelis from entering the country and that a subcommittee will be established to oversee the process. It added that Muizzu will appoint a special envoy to assess the needs of the Palestinians and to launch a fundraiser under the title “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine.”

Following ICJ And ICC Actions, Sanctions And Arms Embargo Are Crucial Next Steps

Seven months into its genocidal campaign, Israel’s assault on Rafah led the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue a preliminary order on May 24. The court called on Israel to “Immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” It also ordered Israel to keep the Rafah crossing open and permit United Nations investigative commissions to enter Gaza and investigate allegations of genocide. In addition, mounting Israeli atrocities propelled Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to seek arrest warrants on May 20 against top Israeli officials.

‘Uniting For Peace’ Is Next Step In Invoking Genocide Convention Process

Following the latest orders from the International Court of Justice that Israel halt its military offensive in Rafah, some claimed that while the orders of the Court are of course binding, there’s “no enforcement mechanism.” The Court’s orders were of course the result of South Africa’s invoking the Genocide Convention against Israel and its repeated requests for additional orders from the ICJ. In fact, there is such an enforcement mechanism — it’s the UN Security Council. The ICJ is a court that issues orders. The UNSC should act like a sheriff which implements those orders. The problem of course is that the US government has misused its veto power to prevent the UNSC from actually ensuring security, vetoing numerous resolutions on Palestine since October.

Take Action: End The Economic War On Nicaragua!

S.1881, a bill to place more sanctions on Nicaragua, had not advanced since it was filed in June of 2023, until it was suddenly passed out of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 16—one week after Nicaragua argued in the International Court of Justice in defense of the Palestinian people suffering a genocide. The bill may now be voted on by the full Senate any day. Nicaragua and Palestine solidarity activists responded with an emergency protest two days later and then published a petition that quickly garnered over 2,000 signatures. Today they rallied and personally delivered the petition to a group of senators.

Russia Freezes Assets Of Largest US Bank

A St. Petersburg court ordered the freezing of funds owned by US banking giant JPMorgan Chase in Russia on Wednesday. The ruling was made in favor of the country’s second-largest lender VTB, which ha filed a lawsuit seeking to recover $439.5 million that is blocked abroad under US-led sanctions. VTB sued JPMorgan and its subsidiaries in the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region on April 17, court filings showed on Monday. The order targeted funds in JPMorgan’s Russian accounts and “movable and immovable property,” including the bank’s stake in a Russian subsidiary.

US Reimposes Illegal And Inhumane Oil Sanctions On Venezuela

A minute after midnight on April 18, the US reimposed coercive economic measures designed to cripple Venezuela’s oil industry. Later that day, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a new sanctions bill on Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Cuba protested the US’s six-decade blockade as talks resumed between the two countries on migration. At a time of challenged US dollar hegemony and questioning of the neoliberal order, the three countries striving to build socialist societies in the Americas pose a “threat of a good example.” Also on April 18,  Biden announced new sanctions on Iran.

West Votes Against Rest Of World, Supporting Illegal Sanctions

In the United Nations Human Rights Council, the West voted against the rest of the world, supporting unilateral coercive measures, known popularly as sanctions, which violate international law. In the April 3 meeting of the Human Rights Council (HRC), a resolution was approved titled “The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights”. The measure condemned sanctions for their “far-reaching implications for the human rights of the general population of targeted States, disproportionately affecting the poor and persons in the most vulnerable situations”.

As The US Starves The Cuban People, Activists Launch Solidarity Campaign

In the wake of the US’ deliberate starvation of the Cuban people through sanctions, solidarity activists with the People’s Forum, a New York-based political education space, has organized a massive campaign to send 800 tons of wheat flour to the island. The United States policy of continuing the over 60-year-long blockade of the island, as well as maintaining the socialist nation on the “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list, has engineered severe shortages of vital goods on Cuba, including food. The People’s Forum is soliciting donations to help provide much-needed wheat flour to Cuba.
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