Sanciones internacionales

Un grupo de niños espera comer en un comedor de beneficencia en Caracas en febrero de 2019. Credit Meridith Kohut para The New York Times

En los últimos dos años, Estados Unidos ha impuesto sanciones económicas cada vez más severas contra Venezuela. Estas sanciones han restringido el acceso del gobierno al financiamiento externo, han limitado su capacidad de vender activos y, más recientemente, ha impedido que le venda petróleo a Estados Unidos.

Las sanciones fueron diseñadas para cortar las ganancias del régimen de Nicolás Maduro, y sus artífices dijeron que aplicarlas no generaría sufrimiento a los venezolanos. El razonamiento era que Maduro recularía de inmediato o que el ejército lo obligaría a salir antes de que las sanciones pudieran comenzar a surtir efecto.

Se equivocaron. A dos años de su entrada en vigor, Maduro sigue en el poder y su régimen se ha vuelto todavía más represivo y despiadado.…  Seguir leyendo »

The old main bazaar in Tehran. After the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, it restored crippling sanctions on Iran, exacerbating a severe economic crisis.CreditCreditEbrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

To get around Tehran, nothing beats a motorcycle. It is cheap and fast, and you can break the laws of the gridlocked traffic at will. The motorcycle is the pulse of this city of 15 million. It is a nuisance and necessary. I try to cultivate a special relationship with motorcycle mechanics; without them, Tehran does not move. And when they talk, I listen.

Farzad, my motorcycle mechanic who works from a hole-in-the-wall garage in my neighborhood, complained that the price of engine oil had tripled in late May. “The customers think I’m ripping them off,” he said. “I tell them to go the bazaar and buy the oil themselves if they want, and I’ll change it for them.”

On a visit to Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan I had bought him a pair of used hiking shoes for about $10.…  Seguir leyendo »

The old bazaar in Tehran, Iran. Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

To get around Tehran, nothing beats a motorcycle. It is cheap and fast, and you can break the laws of the gridlocked traffic at will. The motorcycle is the pulse of this city of 15 million. It is a nuisance and necessary. I try to cultivate a special relationship with motorcycle mechanics; without them, Tehran does not move. And when they talk, I listen.

Farzad, my motorcycle mechanic who works from a hole-in-the-wall garage in my neighborhood, complained that the price of engine oil had tripled in late May. “The customers think I’m ripping them off,” he said. “I tell them to go the bazaar and buy the oil themselves if they want, and I’ll change it for them.”

On a visit to Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan I had bought him a pair of used hiking shoes for about $10.…  Seguir leyendo »

A magnificent fresco adorns the main pavilion of the royal palace in the Iranian city of Isfahan, depicting the 16th-century Battle of Chaldiran, fought between the Turkish-Ottoman and Persian-Safavid empires. The fresco appears to show the Persian army victorious, having crushed its Turkish adversary. The truth is that Chaldiran marked a decisive victory for the Ottomans, who went on to annex eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq. But what the self-serving historical distortion suggests is not shame of defeat but pride in the heroic valor with which the Iranians resisted a foe that outnumbered them and, unlike them, possessed heavy artillery. Donald Trump’s administration, which has made bringing Iranians to their knees the cornerstone of its Mideast policy half a millennium later, should draw a lesson from the battle and the way the Persians digested defeat.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las sanciones impuestas a Irán por el Presidente estadounidense Donald Trump han comenzado a afectar fuertemente la economía del país. La inflación, que el Presidente Hassan Rouhani parecía haber derrotado, ha vuelto con intensidad, llegando a un 31% en 2018. Según el Fondo Monetario Internacional, la economía se contraerá un 6% este año, y la inflación podría llegar a un 37%. Muchos sectores están experimentando grandes dificultades, mientras crece el desempleo. Con el objetivo de reducir las exportaciones iraníes de petróleo completamente, Trump amenaza con sancionar a países, como China, India y Japón, que siguen comprándole crudo.

Considerando el sufrimiento que las sanciones unilaterales de Trump están causando a Irán, ¿son realmente la política “milagrosa” que su administración espera que sean?…  Seguir leyendo »

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, 25 July 2005. OPEC-OIL/ REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

The U.S. decision on 22 April to end sanctions exemptions for Iran’s remaining oil customers, following on an earlier designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), significantly escalates the Trump administration’s coercive campaign against Tehran. The intent is clear: bankrupt Iran into acceding to unilateral U.S. demands or, even better, imploding its regime. But while there is little doubt that the policy of «maximum pressure» has inflicted considerable economic duress – and stands to push Iran’s economy into further decline by starving it of a key source of external revenue – it is far less certain that it will achieve its strategic objectives.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sanctions Against Syria Taking Aim at Russia

In early February, the US Senate approved Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, which is yet to pass through the House of Representatives and be signed into law by the President. More likely than not, it will be accepted in its present wording. For Russian public and private companies it is of importance from the point of view of its further codification of anti-Syria sanctions. Russia has consistently supported the government forces and is Syria’s crucial long-term partner in terms of its rebuilding as well as its economic development. To some extent, the bill enhances the sanction risks for them but will do little to change the situation in a fundamental way.…  Seguir leyendo »

Depuis 2001 le Cambodge bénéficie d’un avantage commercial exceptionnel que lui accorde l’Union européenne grâce à une initiative connue sous le nom «Tout sauf les armes» (TSA). Il s’agit de la possibilité d’exporter vers l’Europe sans quotas et sans droits de douane tous produits sauf les armes et munitions. Cet avantage est accordé à un groupe de pays en voie de développement et en transition vers la démocratie. Dans l’esprit de la Commission européenne, il s’agit d’aider des pays «les moins avancés» à sortir de la pauvreté mais aussi – c’est un critère parallèle obligatoire – à progresser sur la voie de la démocratie et du respect des droits de l’homme.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alexei Kudrin meets with other Russian Accounts Chamber officials in May. Photo via Getty Images.

On 10 October Alexei Kudrin, head of the Russian Accounts Chamber, spoke to leading business people about Western sanctions. He said that if sanctions were tightened, Russia would be unable to achieve the economic goals set out by President Vladimir Putin for his new presidential term.

Kudrin added that Russian foreign policy ‘should be subordinated to reducing tensions in our relations with other countries’. This success of this policy, he said, should be measured by whether sanctions were eased or intensified.

Kudrin’s comments are significant for three reasons. First, they sharply contradict the official position that sanctions are futile and ineffective, and that efforts to pressure on Russia are counterproductive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tout le monde se souvient des conséquences catastrophiques pour les droits de l’homme des embargos commerciaux quasi-complets imposés à plusieurs pays sous l’autorité des Nations unies durant la décennie 1990, particulièrement en Irak, où la révélation de l’ampleur des souffrances infligées aux populations civiles par l’embargo a été le facteur déclencheur d’un abandon par l’ONU des sanctions et embargos de caractère général, au profit de sanctions dites «ciblées», aussi appelées smart sanctions, visant spécifiquement les acteurs, personnalités ou entités auxquels est imputé le comportement répréhensible (selon le cas : terrorisme, prolifération, atteintes aux droits de l’homme, etc.) qui justifie l’action.…  Seguir leyendo »

The EU sanctions ploy

The Chinese government isn’t concerned about the short-term economic effects of President Trump’s tariffs. The European Union is concerned with nothing else. For a fistful of dollars they are siding with the world’s foremost terrorist regime against the nation that has protected them since 1945.

As we will see in a moment, the EU is desperately trying to maintain its economic ties with Iran despite that fact and the events of July and August.

In early July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — regarded by some as a moderate, as if there were such a leader in Iran — threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

La retirada de Donald Trump del Plan de Acción Integral Conjunto (PAIC) con Irán y la reimposición de las sanciones estadounidenses a aquel país son una amenaza a la paz mundial. La seguridad de Europa depende de defender el acuerdo con Irán contra la retirada estadounidense. Para eso es necesario que Europa (junto con Rusia, China y otros estados miembros de Naciones Unidas) garantice un normal desarrollo de las relaciones económicas con Irán, lo cual sólo será posible en la medida en que confronte, y en definitiva revierta, las sanciones extraterritoriales de Estados Unidos, que pretenden disuadir a otros países de mantener actividades comerciales y financieras con Irán.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las sanciones contra Irán reinstauradas por el presidente norteamericano, Donald Trump, plantean dos interrogantes sumamente importantes que no tienen respuestas convincentes. Primero, ¿esta acción hará del mundo un lugar más seguro, como dice Trump, o desestabilizará aún más a Oriente Medio y minará los futuros esfuerzos por limitar las armas nucleares, como sostienen la mayoría de los expertos geopolíticos que no están directamente empleados por los gobiernos de Estados Unidos, Israel o Arabia Saudita? Y, segundo, ¿los esfuerzos de Estados Unidos por obligar a las empresas extranjeras a observar sus sanciones contra Irán resultarán en la práctica tan duros como la retórica beligerante de Trump?…  Seguir leyendo »

An anti-American protest on Wednesday in front of the former United States Embassy in Tehran after President Trump said he was abrogating the Iran nuclear agreement.CreditEuropean Pressphoto Agency, via Shutterstock

The July 2015 nuclear deal officially ended Iran’s isolation and economic punishment, but the comprehensive sanctions that the country had endured for nearly a decade continued to take a toll.

Those sanctions have profoundly damaged the Iranian economy. The government — hemmed in by domestic opposition and its own corruption — has done little to repair it. There have been encouraging signs of life since the nuclear deal, but they turned out to be short-lived.

President Trump announced on Tuesday that he would withdraw from the nuclear agreement and reinstate sanctions that had been lifted as part of it. This is not just a potentially fatal blow to the accord between Iran and five world powers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why the Latest US Sanctions on Russia Will Bite

The public spat this week, between the White House and Nikki Haley, US permanent representative to the UN, has thrown America’s sanctions policy into confusion. But this should not cloud a more significant moment. Earlier this month America imposed its most far-reaching sanctions yet on Russia. These mark a turning point in US-Russia relations – the moment when America took the offensive in a long struggle for influence waged with economic means.

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has sought to draw Russia into the global economy. Beyond the pursuit of new trade and investment opportunities lay a strategic calculation: globalizing Russia would normalize it.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a photo from March, people at a rail station in Seoul watch a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center, and President Trump. Korean letters on the screen read: “Thawing Korean Peninsula.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

President Trump has made much of his “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. One element of that policy — and one that long predates Trump — is a set of tough international sanctions.

Last week, a U.N. Security Council committee added 22 new entities and 27 ships to the North Korean sanctions list. Are these incremental steps having any material effect?

This will be an important question in the run-up to Kim Jong Un’s planned summits with the South Korean and U.S. presidents. While North Korea’s young leader has played a brilliant diplomatic hand, he may have miscalculated the bite that sanctions are about to take.…  Seguir leyendo »

After decades of isolation and tense relations with the West, Sudan seems to be coming in from the cold.

The US announced that 20-year old economic sanctions would be permanently eased with effect from 12 October because of Khartoum’s ‘positive actions’ on five tracks, including a sustained cessation of hostilities in the conflict areas of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, improved humanitarian access and cooperation with the US on counterterrorism and addressing regional conflicts. This followed a provisional lifting of sanctions by President Obama in January.

President Omar al-Bashir and his officials are jubilant at what they see as a major political victory and an important step on the path to normalization of relations with the US.…  Seguir leyendo »

La semana pasada, en una señal descarada de rechazo a las nuevas y duras sanciones de las Naciones Unidas, el régimen del líder norcoreano Kim Jong-un disparó un misil balístico sobre la isla japonesa de Hokkaido, ubicada al norte -su segundo lanzamiento sobre Japón en menos de tres semanas-. Pero, lejos de indicar que las sanciones no funcionan, el accionar de Kim demuestra que todavía no son lo suficientemente duras.

Las últimas sanciones limitan las importaciones de petróleo, prohíben las exportaciones textiles y penalizan a determinadas entidades de gobierno norcoreanas. Luego de la respuesta de Kim, las sanciones deberían endurecerse aún más, hasta interrumpir todo comercio con Corea del Norte, e inclusive frenar todas las importaciones de combustible.…  Seguir leyendo »

Réuni lundi 11 septembre, soit huit jours après le dernier test nucléaire de la République populaire et démocratique de Corée (RPDC ou Corée du Nord), le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a voté, à l’unanimité, un huitième paquet de sanctions économiques à l’encontre de Pyongyang (résolution 2375). Comme pour les sept résolutions précédentes, les nouvelles mesures visent à limiter les revenus de la Corée du Nord et à empêcher le financement de ses programmes balistiques et nucléaires ; et comme pour les sept résolutions précédentes, il y a fort à parier que ces mesures n’auront pas l’effet escompté.

Le texte voté lundi constitue apparemment une version allégée de ce que désirait Washington, Pékin et Moscou, tous deux dotés du droit de veto au sein du Conseil et notoirement sceptiques sur la capacité de sanctions à faire évoluer les politiques nord-coréennes, ayant menacé de s’opposer à la résolution si elle s’avérait trop sévère.…  Seguir leyendo »

El viernes 25 de agosto, el gobierno de Estados Unidos impuso sanciones financieras a Venezuela, que limitan la posibilidad de que el gobierno de Nicolás Maduro y su petrolera nacional, PDVSA, emitan nueva deuda en los mercados de capital estadounidenses. Las sanciones se impusieron en respuesta a la elección inconstitucional y fraudulenta, organizada por el gobierno, de una asamblea constituyente, y al cierre de facto de la Asamblea Nacional, que había sido elegida de manera constitucional con amplia mayoría opositora.

Si los mercados financieros funcionasen bien, hace mucho tiempo que el acceso a los mercados financieros por parte del régimen de Maduro se habría cerrado.…  Seguir leyendo »