Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Friday, March 27, 2020

People, not pawns

I'm not wild about the governments in either Iran or Venezuela. But I have no hatred for their people. And so I applaud Senator Chris Murphy for his profile in courage, speaking out against sanctions against these beleaguered countries during this time of global pandemic. Iran has over 30,000 cases of Covid - 19. While the incidence numbers right now in Venezuela are relatively small at present, doctors and humanitarians there fear the worst. The Venezuelans and Iranians, like much of the rest of the world, are undergoing a medical crisis right now and our sanctions are making it extremely hard for medical aid to get through.
“Helping these nations save lives during this crisis is the right thing to do from a moral perspective, but it is also the right thing to do from a national security perspective,” Murphy wrote in the letter sent Thursday to Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “By allowing our sanctions to contribute to the exceptional pain and suffering brought about by the coronavirus outbreaks in both nations, we play into the anti-Americanism that is at the heart of both regimes’ hold on power.” The letter was co-signed by several Senate Democrats, including Chris Van Hollen, Tim Kaine, and Patrick Leahy.
Don't punish the people right now for the sins of dictators. Let's not play politics with their lives. Murphy wrote an excellent opinion in the Washington Post on the subject of Venezuela in January. Today he wrote on Twitter that it hurts both our national security and our moral standing when our sanction's policy results in innocent people dying. I agree.

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