The United States is currently imposing economic sanctions on 39 countries, affecting a third, of the Earth’s population,  limiting their access to food, fuel, funds, and health supplies.

Even before this devastating pandemic that we are all living through, these sanctions, which many would argue are illegal under international law, cause thousands of deaths every year.

Chicago Area Peace Action is dedicated to calling out sanctions for what they are— an act of war! And we are working hard to advocate for both immediate and long term solutions.

Immediately— the US must issue a “clear general license.This temporary license would facilitate relief by allowing medical resources, organizations, and economic aid into sanctioned nations. This solution is supported by over 70 organizations and was employed previously by the Bush and Obama administrations in response to disasters.

Long Term— Pass Rep. Ilhan Omar’s bill Congressional Oversight of Sanctions (COSA). It limits the power of the President to impose sanctions and requires Congressional approval and oversight. Given the wide expanse of current sanctions, more oversight is clearly necessary. This bill will also increase protections for humanitarian aid, healthcare, and critical infrastructure. 

Sanctions have caused 40,000 deaths in Venezuela since sanctions were first introduced by the Obama administration in 2015. Only 25 percent of doctors have reliable running water in their hospitals and clinics, while two-thirds do not have gloves, masks, soap, goggles or scrubs.

Sanctions do not win us any friends, and in fact, academics give them a success score of just 20 to 30%. The US must stop punishing innocent civilians and end the faulty and deadly policy of sanctions.

Academics give sanctions a success score of just 20- 30%.

In places such as Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and Cuba, the lack of medicine, PPE, and hospital equipment prevents the governments from adequately responding to the pandemic. Humanitarian organizations, NGOs, corporations, and banks who are able and prepared to offer aid fear the repercussions of side-stepping sanctions. These sanctions undermine and paralyze economies, take the lives of civilians, and allow anti-American regimes to shift the blame for many of their own failures onto the US.


    • Worked with Rep. Chuy Garcia’s office on a letter to the US Treasury and State Departments to demand the issuance of a clear general license. This bicameral letter was led in the Senate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and was sent to Sec. Pompeo and Sec. Mnuchin in November with a total of 75 co-signers.
    • Sent a coalition letter in September to Chicago area representatives with fourteen co-signers demanding they support a clear general license and Rep. Omar’s sanctions reform bill HR 5879
    • Over the past year, CAPA members have sent over 70+ letters to the legislators to demand sanctions relief and reform.
    • Sanctions Kill, Especially During a Pandemic, Action at Federal Plaza— Co-sponsored and spoke at this action on July 14, 2020
    • Sanctions and their Human Cost Webinar— Co-sponsored New Jersey Peace Action’s webinar on May 26, 2020

And the work continues. If you would like to get involved with this work, please contact us at CAPA@ChiPeaceAction.org to learn more.



If you would like more information, to volunteer, or intern for CAPA please contact us

Reach Us

EMAIL: capa@chipeaceaction.org

PHONE: (224) 645-1203

ADDRESS: 535 Custer Ave. Evanston, IL 60202