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The Impact of US Sanctions on Venezuela

About Me

My name is Emer O’Neill and I am a Final Year Arts International student at University College Cork in Ireland. I am doing a Joint-Major in Spanish and Italian with The Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and The Department of Italian. I have studied the Spanish language for 4 years. This project is for the module Translating Business, Culture and Society in the Hispanic World. 


This article is originally written in Spanish by Mark Weisbrot, an American Economist and Columnist. It appears online in Página 12, an Argentinian satirical newspaper. The article discusses the ramifications of policies, like those implemented by President Donald Trump, have for ordinary Venezuelan people. Weisbrot is adamant that these policies are preventing Venezuelans from obtaining necessary food and medical supplies, leading to unnecessary deaths that would be avoided if these “aggressive measures” were lifted.

Why I Chose This Text

One of the main aims of my project was to provide information to my audience. This newspaper article is about an important situation that is still pretty much ongoing in Venezuela today. I am sure that quite a few people are aware of the difficulties facing Venezuela, however, I think that a lot of people tend to forget about the consequences policies, like those implemented by President Trump, can have on ordinary people. This article very much discusses the economics of the situation and the issues these financial ‘blockades’ can cause.

Overall, I hope that this project can raise awareness and inform people of the situation. The original text is in Spanish and so I think that by translating the text into English, the text can be viewed by a new audience- perhaps even people who know nothing of the situation in Venezuela. The article focuses mostly on President Trump’s policies, therefore this article is not only relevant to people in Venezuela. These important events must be viewed by and brought to the attention of the world so that politicians can be held to account for their actions.

In addition, when the text mentions political figures, like Francisco Rodriguez for example, I have attempted to offer a small description of these people to help the audience to follow the text more clearly and to better understand the political situation. 

Personally, I did not know a lot about the effects of President Trump’s policies internationally. I did know a fair bit about the political situation in Venezuela in relation to the coup d’état and the dictatorship from studying Latin American history from my various lectures at university. That being said I did not know much about the horrendous starvation and suffering of ordinary Venezuelan people- that occurs even today. 

I particularly liked this newspaper article because it was informative without being too overwhelming. I feel like an ordinary person, without a degree in economics could still read the piece and take something away from it. The writer uses sarcasm, especially when addressing President Trump’s actions, without taking away from the seriousness of the piece.