Chisinau Forum III
Septembre 20-21 2019
Manuel Estrada, Master’s student in Latin American Studies
at the University of Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle)
„The 21st century world that is already on the horizon will not be bipolar or unipolar, but thank God it will be multipolar.”
These are the words spoken by Hugo Chavez at a conference held in Caracas on 12 August 1998, to indicate the direction of his foreign policy in the event that he is elected President of Venezuela.
Following his first electoral success, Chávez made political decisions to include his country in the group of countries involved in building the multipolar world. Venezuela is for example establishing strategic alliances with Russia, China, India and Iran.
After the death of Hugo Chavez, the opponents of the Bolivarian Revolution decided to put pressure on his successor, Nicolás Maduro, to bring about political change in Venezuela.
In this sense, on March 9, 2015, Barack Obama signed Order 13,692, in which he declared that Venezuela is „an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
On August 25, 2017, continuing the work begun by Obama, Donald Trump signed Order 13,808 prohibiting American banks from entering into new transactions with the Venezuelan government or with its state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).
Many analysts interpret this sanction as a collective punishment since it affects not only the Venezuelan government, but also the population in general.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, on January 28 of the current year, Donald Trump signed Order 13,857 as a prelude to other provisions. Similarly, he recognizes Juan Guaidó as the „interim president” of Venezuela.
These two events lead to the closure of bank accounts with financial institutions, the loss of access to credit, as well as other financial restrictions that affect oil production and, consequently, the national economy.
With regard to the impact on the lives and health of Venezuelans, a study carried out by the Centre for Economic and Political Research highlights the following information: reduction in caloric consumption, increase in disease, increase in the number of deaths (40,000 between 2017 and 2018), and increase in the number of migrants.
Despite all the suffering caused by the sanctions, the White House is not achieving its objective of bringing about political change in Venezuela. This is due to the strength of the civic and military union, understood as one of Hugo Chávez’s great legacies to preserve the country’s political sovereignty.
But if we are talking about economic sovereignty, the design and implementation of a new financial architecture, autonomous from the decisions of the United States, becomes an urgent task to move forward in the construction of the multipolar world.