HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 23 (acn) Given the constant expansion of COVID-19 in the world, a group of American economists asked the United States government to lift the unilateral coercive measures imposed on countries such as Venezuela, Cuba and Iran, in order to prevent the increase in the number of fatal victims.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, described the action of Trump administration as excessive and flagrant against international law, which is now fueling the coronavirus pandemic, according to Telesur international TV channel.
It is imperative that the United States lift immoral and illegal sanctions to allow countries to deal with the disease as effectively and quickly as possible since the only function of coercive measures is to put pressure on those governments by inducing widespread suffering, Sachs said.
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), stated that there is no doubt that the sanctions have affected Iran's ability to contain the outbreak, which in turn led to more infections and possibly the spread of the virus beyond its borders.
On the other hand, in Venezuela, those measures have generated losses for more than 140 billion dollars and have also reduced the ability to acquire financing, medical supplies and food, said Dean Baker, senior economist at CEPR.
In a time of crisis, the only reasonable humanitarian response is to suspend sanctions until the threat passes, he added.
Economists agree that, if the US government is going to assist other countries or show at least a leadership role in the face of this crisis, the first thing it should do is not to cause damage and the economic sanctions it applies to Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries cause immense damage, the official CEPR website noted.