Photo from a Tweet by Answer Coalition at the DC Venezuelan Embassy earlier today:
“They may have cut off our electricity, but they can never cut off our power.” ~ CODEPINK and Popular Resistance
Posted by by Judith Bello, member of UNAC AC, May 11, 2019
For context, the right wing Venezuelan protestors remain outside the embassy making a lot of noise with sirens and noisemakers and loud music. Supporters of the Embassy protectors have been moved across the street by the police. The Venezuelans want to see Juan Guaido’s representatives inside the building. This will lend ‘legitimacy’ to this unempower and unelected government. They cannot do the normal work of embassies as they have no connection to the actual government of Venezuela. This government was legitimately elected and is recognized by the United Nations as well as nearly 3/4 of the world governments.
A recording of Alfred de Zayas, former UN special rapporteur, professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, talking about the status of the Embassy of Venezuela, Washington DC. (from Conversations with Slava)
The United States has taken the internationally located resources and monies of the Venezuelan government, which are necessary to provide food, medical care and other properly functioning government services, and transferred these resources to a shadow government of Juan Guaido which is under their control. Since the Guaido crew cannot do the normal work done in Embassies around the world, provide Visas, support those who are here on Visas and provide a diplomatic conduit between the government of Venezuela and that of the host country (the United States), one wonders what their purpose will be. It would seem they may operate as a planning center for managing the coup, and shadow government of Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez from CIA central.
An article in the Popular Resistance Newsletter, April 21, gives some of the history of this CIA Plot to overthrow the government of Venezuela using Lopez and Guaido as frontment:
The opposition leader, Juan Guaido’s power is shrinking in Venezuela and he is often ignored. He has no transitional government, even Elliot Abrams admits he is not in power, and Guaido has been barred from running for office for financial improprieties after being investigated for illegally taking money from a foreign government. Guaido’s immunity from prosecution has been removed and he has been forbidden from leaving the country. He has announced major protests multiple times to support his takeover of the Venezuelan government on behalf of the US government, but the protests are often canceled or have small turnouts.
Mision Verdad, in “Guaido, A Laboratory Product That No Longer Works,” describes how the coup was designed in meetings in the Organization of American States (OAS) in December and January that included the convicted criminal, Leopoldo Lopez, and his protegé Juan Guaido by video link.
Lopez was convicted for his role in inciting fatal violent protests and road blockades in 2014 and 2017 that killed almost 200 people in an attempt to take over the government. He is currently under house arrest. While Lopez has tried to distance himself from the unpopular failed 2002 coup of Hugo Chavez, video and news from that time show he was one of the leaders of the Chavez coup. Lopez participated in the illegal detention of then-Minister of the Interior and Justice Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, as this video shows, as well as violent attacks against Caracas’ Cuban Embassy.
Chavez pardoned Lopez for his role in the coup in 2007, but Lopez was barred from holding political office from 2008 to 2014 for his misuse of public funds while mayor. Guarimba victims have pursued new charges against Leopoldo Lopez. Just two weeks ago, Lopez was implicated in a terrorist plot, funded by the United States and organized by Guaido’s chief of staff, where mercenaries from Central America, trained in Colombia, planned to attack infrastructure, government buildings, and assassinate political leaders, including President Maduro.
Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions have cause great hardship for the Venezuelan people. The last round of theft has doubled down on the siege and strangulation of the Venezuelan economy, a problem for which Venezuelan President Maduro is routinely blamed. But how can anyone provide for their people effectively in this context. Here is the opposition rally in Caracas today:
And back at the Embassy, the police have so far not invaded the building and arrested the occupants. That would be a major breach of international law. These people are the guests and supporters of the legitimate Venezuelan government. They are there to protect the sovereignty of Venezuela, to support international law and draw the attention of other U.S. citizens to the sanctity of these boundaries. Apparently, the police are pressing these boundaries but not quite ready to openly cross them so far. Similarly, the Pentagon has not sent forces to the sovereign country of Venezuela to enforce their will …. so far.
At the Embassy, the sidewalks are crowded with noisy, aggressive protesters who have assaulted Embassy Protectors and their supporters on the streets, particularly women. The protesters have been allowed to block the sidewalks and make enough noise day and night to have been disbanded or even arrested in any other city in the country. There is constant loud music, with noisemakers and sirens blaring. They have blocked the entrances to the building and pounded on the doors with whatever implements came to hand, damaging some. The plan is to drive out the Embassy Protectors.
Here’s a taste of the environment outside the Embassy:
— Morgan Artyukhina (@LavenderNRed) May 11, 2019
The government and police have been active around the Venezuelan Embassy in DC just as they have been active in laying siege to the country of Venezuela. The U.S. and her allies have stolen the resources, gold and the oil refining apparatus of Venezuela. They have initiated overwhelming economic sanctions against the people of Venezuela and made it difficult for other countries to circumvent those barriers. They have have supported an unelected, unpopular, sometimes violent leadership to call for revolution in Venezuela, and even to attempt a coup. They have blocked the entrances to the building not allowing anyone to pass, including those with supplies, food and medicine for the people inside. A few days ago, they shut the power to the building off; today they shut the water off; both utilities are paid up to date by the Venezuelan government, which owns the building.
Men have groped and hassled embassy protectors and stepped on their bare feet. Even if the feet weren’t bare, this is an invasion of personal space by a man who is a hostile stranger. Someone struck Medea Benjamin in an effort to grab her backpack full of food, and the police threw 72 year old Gerry Condon to the ground and slammed his head against the pavement for tossing a vegetable to a person in an open window. So, the Venezuelan Embassy has become a metaphor for the Venezuelan State. The boundaries are controlled by hostile forces. The people are denied food, medicine and now water. There is a deliberately induced power failure, created by the U.S. government and the constant threat of force.
Protesters at the Embassy say that U.S. Embassy Protectors are occupying their country’s space and interfering in their business. The Embassy Protectors are supporting the legitimate government of Venezuela and International law, facing contradictory actions by the government of the United States which chooses to violate international law by giving a foreign embassy to individuals who does not represent the legitimate government or serve the people of that country. This is a U.S. problem that only U.S. people can resolve.
People in the United States have been half mad with fear and rage over the possibility that Russia might have effected the U.S. election by placing a few ads on Facebook and airing their opinions along with those of U.S. dissidents on an English language TV station. How do these actions compare with U.S. manipulation of, and later response to the outcome of the Venezuelan election? What if another government named a replacement for our president, drove our Ambassador and his staff from their Embassy and then replaced them with supporters of the government they preferred. I do not like Donald Trump or his policies. He’s made a mess of things as the events related in this article show. But I would not support a coup contrived by a foreign government with no democratic aspect at all to replace him with an unknown small time politician. The U.S. government and press have been calling this “democracy”. Is that what you would call it?
And if you don’t think this is right, what should you do? Well, you can contact the people above to get the resources back on in the Embassy. And Contact your elected leaders by calling the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121. But I would go further and suggest that you contact the White House any way you can. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo’s policies towards Venezuela have become an embarrassment to the President. They have failed and failed to turn the situation to U.S. advantage. I don’t much like Trump and I am horrified by many of his polices both foreign and domestic. But the news is that he has noticed that the Bolton-Pompeo team have wrecked any chance he has for his personal foreign policy goals and he is unhappy with them. Let’s make sure he makes them go. It’s time to let him know that Americans, U.S. citizens and many other people around the world are disgusted by the freak show he has created in Venezuela and on the streets of Washington DC. Its not funny and even a complicit press can’t hide it any more.
Someone at the highest levels is ordering the DC Police and the Secret Service Police who are supposed to be protecting embassies in this country. Calling the police, the water company and the electric company is all well and good, but your are going to have contact the people giving the orders. So please, do something today. Do it for Venezuela and for International Law (which translates to international respect for the sovereignty of all nations).
Judith Bello is a peace and justice activist and international relations analyst who has, over the last decade, spent time in Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Pakistan. She is a member of the UNAC Administrative Committee and moderates the ‘End the Wars at Home and Abroad’ Blog. She is active with the Syria Solidarity Movement and the One State Assembly supporting One Democratic State of Palestine and the Palestinian Right of Return.