Sanctions: Today’s Diplomacy

By Elio Delgado Legon


HAVANA TIMES – Diplomacy is a word that invokes the idea of good relations between countries, and even between people, in contrast to violence, threats and blackmail in order to get the other side to act in a certain way.

In the old days, diplomacy didn’t exist. Everything was subject to the law of the jungle, where the strongest survives, and this was how empires were built, invading and taking over lands and then turning their inhabitants into slaves. Some of those empires lasted for centuries, but they finally collapsed or were defeated.

In the modern world, Napoleon’s empire was defeated by Russia and that was how it ended. Hitler’s Germany tried to take over half of the world to build an empire, but it was defeated by the Soviet Union, which pushed it back to Berlin. This was the last attempt to apply the law of the jungle because there weren’t any laws or organizations capable of putting an end to these outrages.

Once WW2 had ended and the Fascists had been defeated in all of the different places they had come to power, the world felt it was necessary to have an organization that would impose order and a legal framework which, in theory, couldn’t be violated. The United Nations (UN) was created as a result and all of its branches of international bodies, which were necessary to uphold world peace and contribute to the progress of developing nations. It was asssumed that the law of the jungle would never rule again, as gunboat diplomacy wouldn’t, which had ruled for a long time.

However, these assumptions were made a mockery of even before the world came together with the wish to resolve conflicts between countries with diplomacy. On August 6th and 9th 1945, after WW2 had ended, the United States committed the largest massacre of civilians in history when it dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with the sole objective of blackmailing the world, showing what the rising empire was capable of.

Ever since then, the diplomacy adopted by the United States to convince countries that they must obey the strongest, has been a diplomacy of blackmail, terror, threats of force and armed attack as well as invading their countries, like in our most prehistoric times when the law of the jungle was the only law that existed.

The most modern strain of diplomacy used by US governments, in addition to threats, blackmail and agression, is diplomatic sanctions. If you don’t do what I want, what pleases me, I will sanction you. This is the logic of the strongest military power that has every existed.

Nobody gave this empire the power to unilaterally decide whether to impose sanctions against another country, or even to individuals from other countries. It doesn’t matter that there isn’t a law in International Law that gives them this arbitrary power. They simply took on this right because they are the strongest, which means we have gone back to the time where survival of the fittest existed because International Law and the UN didn’t exist.

For example, the US has imposed an economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba for almost 60 years because they don’t like the political or social form of government that has been elected by our sovereign people and they apply sanctions trying to make the Cuban people give in out of hunger and disease.

Today, the US has applied sanctions to dozens of countries in order to force them to pay heed to their orders. A lot of the time, they brandish made-up excuses that have nothing to do with reality in order to apply these sanctions, supported by the media they control.

For example, in Syria, the United States (supported by other countries) organized a civil war against Bashar al Assad’s legitimate government. They supported terrorist groups in order to do this, including the self-proclaimed “Islamic State”, so as to bring about a change in government. One time, terrorists carried out a chemical attack which killed dozens of civilians to then blame the Syrian government. After they held this fake chemical attack, and using this excuse, the US launched a missile attack against the Syrian army and they have been preparing another fake attack over the past few days to use this as an excuse to attack the army which is about to kick the terrorists out of their country.

The list of countries and leaders of these countries that have been sanctioned, without reason, without due process, without the right to defend themselves, would be never-ending. Today, sanctions are the only diplomacy that exists for the United States. For how long?