Trade Unions Demand Action Over US-Venezuela Relations

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Congress) has urged the Minister for Foreign Affairs to clarify the Irish Government's position on the escalation of US sanctions against the people of Venezuela.

Congress urged Simon Coveney to take action against the latest measures, as the Trump administration ordered a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the US and barred transactions with its authorities.

In a letter to the Minister on Wednesday 21 August, Congress General Secretary, Patricia King, said the recent extension of economic and financial sanctions will aggravate a dire humanitarian situation which has already forced millions to flee Venezuela.

"We are deeply concerned at the latest imposition of severe sanctions on the government and people of Venezuela," Ms King said. "At our recent conference in Dublin in July, delegates representing over 600,000 workers in Ireland called for an end to foreign interference in Venezuela. We would urge the Irish government and the EU to make it clear to the US administration that its escalation of sanctions will inflict untold hardship on the already suffering people of Venezuela and should be lifted immediately."

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who has raised concern about previous sanctions imposed by Washington condemned the latest measures as "extremely broad" with the potential to exacerbate suffering among an already vulnerable population.

She said that she was deeply worried about the potentially severe impact on the human rights of the people of Venezuela and said the sanctions fail to contain sufficient measures to mitigate their impact on the most vulnerable sectors of the population.

Congress International Officer, David Joyce added: "At our Biennial Delegate Conference in July, Congress rejected the Trump administration's position of 'regime change' in Venezuela, which is illegal under international law. The future of their country is a matter for Venezuelans alone to determine and the only correct way forward must be based on the call for dialogue from Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay and others and a negotiated peaceful settlement endorsed by the people of Venezuela."

Congress was dismayed earlier this year when the Irish government recognised the US backed politician, Juan Guaido, as interim President of Venezuela and has urged Mr Coveney to put all of Ireland's diplomatic efforts into ensuring a negotiated solution and to make our views known to the US administration.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 November 2019
Irishman Arrested As English Police Discover 15 People In Lorry
An Irish man has been arrested after 15 people were discovered in the back of the lorry he was driving in south-west England. Wiltshire Police said a member of the public raised the alarm on Wednesday evening, 06 November. The lorry was located on the A350 near Chippenham.
02 April 2019
UK Govt Accused Of 'Denying Irish Citizenship Of Northern People'
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has been urged to address the declaration by British Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes that, 'as a matter of law', the people of the north are British citizens by birth.
09 March 2018
Government Pledges To Find Work For 100,000 Extra People By 2020
The Government has pledged that it will get an extra 100,000 people into employment by 2020. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys is to launch the 2018 Action Plan for Jobs today, 09 March, in an effort to improve the number of unemployed.
22 September 2009
Public Pay And Pensions For 'Chop'
The Taoiseach has incurred the wrath of the unions after signalling public pay and pensions were likely to be targeted for further cuts in December's budget. Brian Cowen confirmed yesterday that the budget would result in cuts "right across the board", including public-sector pay and pensions.
17 July 2019
FG Call For Erasmus Scheme To Be Extended To Older People
Fine Gael has called for the Erasmus programme to be extended to older people. Fine Gael's spokesperson on European Affairs, Neale Richmond, made the call as European Commission President nominee, Ursula Von der Leyen committed to triple the Erasmus budget.