President Joe Biden on his proposed sanctions against Myanmar’s military, which carried out a coup putting the country’s pro-democracy elected leader behind bars.

April 1, 2021
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“We will identify a first round of targets this week…”

President Biden announced he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. funds from the Myanmar government – unless the military “relinquished” power and set its prisoners free – and warned of even stronger sanctions on the horizon.

  • The U.S. says it will continue to support healthcare and civic groups in Myanmar.
  • Backstory: The recent election of a female pro-democracy leader and her political party marked a major shift in the country’s power structure away from the military, after decades under strict military rule. The organizers of the coup claim the election was fraudulent and that the pro-democracy candidate (in power at the time of the election) did not do enough to investigate fraud.
  • Pro-democracy protesters are clashing with the military throughout the country, prompting strict curfews and restrictions on gatherings. The military even banned citizens from using social media until “further notice.”
  • Something to watch: What countries, if any, join the United States with added sanction pressure.

Why It Matters: The shift of political structure in in Myanmar could shake up international relationships, moving its alliance away from China and toward the West.

Biden imposes sanctions on Myanmar military leaders who directed coup

by Jenna Lee,