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The many child victims of the same killer

NiñosVENEZUELAN boy, Geovanny, and Iraqi, Qasim, never met. The first, aged just six, died when his heart stopped while waiting for a bone marrow transplant to be undertaken in an Italian hospital, through an agreement with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, PDVSA. Donald Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela, affecting the Bolivarian nation’s accounts in European banks, resulted in the cancellation of the program, and Geovanny’s death.

Meanwhile, Qasim Al-Kazim’s dream of being a footballer was cut short when he lost one of his legs to a terrorist attack by the Islamic State. However, he survived and enjoyed the ultimate thrill when he was taken to Moscow, where he inaugurated, with the first kick of the ball, a soccer match between Russian teams Spartak and Ufa.

These are two examples of victims of the same killer: terrorism. Be it fundamentalist groups as in Iraq, or the wars and sanctions applied by the U.S. government, which should be judged as state terrorism.

Knowing that hundreds of thousands of children are affected every day by the wars or economic sanctions imposed by Washington against countries whose governments are not compatible with the model it wants to implement, is perhaps the most moving result of the latest actions by those who govern in the White House.

Here, in the 21st century, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan – countries with energy resources or representing strategic points in U.S. geopolitics – are destabilized or see attempts to conquer them. Their infrastructure is destroyed and their economies strangled with cruel financial sanctions, as part of the imperialist plan to dominate the world.

Troops and sophisticated weapons have been sent to Afghanistan in search of the Taliban, who continue to dominate part of the vast country, one of the poorest on the planet. Besides massacring its president, Libya has been turned into a failed state, and even today nobody has control over it. Its oil brought with it foreign conquerors who are already enjoying it.

In Yemen, where according to the UN, 80% of the 24 million inhabitants need urgent aid, the number of children killed increased from 900 to more than 1,500 between last year and now. Meanwhile, Syria is fighting against two enemies: the terrorism of the Islamic State, and that applied by the Pentagon with its air strikes, which kill children, women and the elderly, while illegally maintaining more than a thousand troops in that country. Venezuela, coveted for its oil and other riches, has become the main focus of international attention, after the U.S. President and his team of hawks, alongside the miserable OAS, and certain governments of the region pledged their support for a coup plan.

The death last week of Geovanny, aged just six years old, moved the Bolivarian nation and the international community. Another 26 Venezuelan children are waiting in Europe for PDVSA’s funds to be unfrozen, after being sent there by the revolutionary government to save their lives. They now endure the uncertainty that they could end up like Geovanny.

The U.S. people, who also have children – many of whom die in school shootings or are sent to war – must be moved on hearing about cases like these, and those of many others who die because of the weapons and sanctions of their government.


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