Report: “The Impact and Consequences of US Sanctions”

September 16th, 2021 - by The Sanctions Kill Coalition

Venezuelans line up for water.

How US Sanctions are killing civilians,
hindering the global fight against Covid,
and hurting the US economy

The Sanctions Kill Coalition

60-pus Years of US Sanctions

(September 13, 2021) — The US policy of economically undermining independent countries has persisted for 60+ years.

In 1960, a State Department memorandum declared, “Every possible means   should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba…. denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

In 1970, when Dr Salvador Allende was elected in Chile and before he was even inaugurated, President Richard Nixon instructed the Central Intelligence Agency to “Make the [Chilean] economy scream”.

In 2018, US Ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, said “the best solution would be to accelerate the collapse, even if it produces suffering for months or years.”

Today, 39 nations or territories are under direct or indirect US sanctions. As indicated in the quotes above, this is economic warfare for political ends.

Will Biden Change Sanctions Policy?

On January 21, the Biden administration mandated a review of US sanctions “to evaluate whether they are unduly hindering responses to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Biden administration leaders expressed a second concern: “The goal of sanctions should not be to punish ordinary citizens for the actions of their leaders.”

Finally, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed concern that sanctions are undermining “the US’s leadership role in the global financial system.”

For the past several months, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo has been leading a review of US sanctions.

Currently it seems they are NOT changing policy.

In the past three months, MORE sanctions have been imposed on Nicaragua, Syria, Cuba and Iran.

An Independent Review

A coalition of social justice and human rights organizations called “Sanctions Kill” has conducted an independent review of the impact and consequences of US sanctions.

The report is based on a poll of people from Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Zimbabwe plus fact-finding on the ground in Syria and official reports and independent research.

Key Questions:

The report raises important questions:

* Why don’t more Americans know about the impact of US sanctions?

* Could US officials face criminal & civil liability?

* Are US Unilateral Sanctions in fact illegal and in violation of the United Nations Charter?

* Why is this policy continuing? What should be done?

Key Findings in the Report

* 71% of world nations believe that US sanctions violate international law and the UN Charter.

* Sanctions harm US farmers and companies who seek mutually beneficial trade with target countries.

* There has been a virtual media blackout of the impact of sanctions and world-wide criticism.

* Many thousands of civilians have died as a direct or indirect consequence of US sanctions.

* Humanitarian exemptions, intended to allow food and medicines, have not worked.

* Sanctions are spurring countries to sell US securities and seek alternatives to the US dominated financial system.

The report will be released on Sept 13, 2021.

To receive a free pdf copy of the report, send your email to

With a vote of 184-2, the world tells the US to STOP sanctions on Cuba.

ACTION: You can download the sanctions report at:

In the meantime, here is the report’s introduction:


In recent decades, the US has increasingly used sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy.

Some 39 nations and territories are under direct or indirect sanctions. Most of these sanctions are not authorized by the United Nations Security Council and many of them are enacted by the US alone.

They are called “unilateral coercive measures” at the United Nations. These US decrees and legislation are “extraterritorial” when they assume the right to impose regulations, restrictions and penalties on non-US countries, companies and individuals.

There are many types of sanctions: economic or financial restrictions, trade prohibitions, and blocking or seizing assets of individuals, organizations and countries. Greatly increasing the reach of sanctions, “secondary sanctions” target non-US entities which are interacting with the “primary” target.

President Biden’s administration is currently reviewing US sanctions policy. On January 21, 2021, the first National Security Memo of the Biden administration called for a review whether US sanctions are hindering response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, administration leaders raised a second concern, saying: “The goal of sanctions should not be to punish ordinary citizens for the actions of their leaders.” Then, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed a third concern that sanctions are undermining “the US’s leadership role in the global financial system.”

The Biden administration review of sanctions is being conducted by an inter-agency team including State and Treasury Departments. As of this date (mid-September 2021), they have not released the results of their review.

Because this issue is vitally important, a coalition of non-profit and human rights organizations called “Sanctions Kill” has prepared the following report. The information and findings are the result of on- the-ground investigation in Syria plus questionnaires with citizens of some of the most severely sanctioned countries such as Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

The title of this report is “We don’t deserve this.” This is what a Syrian woman said when asked about the destructive impact of US sanctions on her country. The goal of this report is to inform North Americans about the real-life consequences of US imposed sanctions.

This report begins with our findings, then goes on to conclusions and recommendations. After that, there are quotes from some of the people interviewed and short synopses of the impact of sanctions in Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.

The final section includes resources, which will be of interest to anyone looking further into this topic. We invite your comments and collaboration. Contact us at