Please Share: Letter From Defenders of Venezuela’s Embassy in Washington to U.S. State Department

0
SHARE
A great man, worth defending. Photo credit: Ken Silverstein

KS Here: Not content with mere regime change, starving the Venezuelan people and picking its puppet president, the Trump administration is seeking to illegally seize the Venezuelan embassy in Washington and turn it over to the scum opposition.

Fortunately, a group of pro-Venezuelan government activists have occupied the building. However, they are under growing pressure from the Trump regime and U.S. security forces — substitute the word “Maduro” for “Trump” and that’s what the New York Times would write if their dateline was Caracas, but I’m referring to the Secret Service and D.C. police — and may be dragged out at any moment. There will be a teleconference with the Collective on Tuesday evening, see their invite below:

This Saturday the Embassy Protection Collective has called for another support demonstration at noon. Please join the call tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 6 PM to organizing building for this action. Let others know, especially those representing groups that can mobilize. Suggested agenda:

-Report from Medea Benjamin
-Building for Saturday support rally
-Getting out the Message from the Embassy Protection Collective to the US State Department (see below)

Call-in information
Topic: Support for Venezuela Protection Collective
Time: May 14, 2019 6:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting by Clicking Here
One tap mobile
+1-669-900-6833 ext. 844511418 US (San Jose)
+1-929-205-6099 ext. 844511418 US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 844 511 418
Find your local number by clicking here

Here’s a letter the activists recently sent to the Trump regime.

To: US State Department
Venezuelan Foreign Ministry
From: Embassy Protection Collective
Re: Exiting the Venezuelan Embassy
Date: May 13, 2019

This is the 34th day of our living in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC. We are prepared to stay another 34 days, or however long is needed to resolve the embassy dispute in a peaceful way consistent with international law.

This memo is being sent to the US and Venezuela as well as members of our Collective and allies. We are encouraging people to publish this memo as a transparent process is needed to prevent the US from making a unilateral decision that could impact the security of embassies around the world and lead to military conflict.

There are two ways to resolve the issues around the Venezuelan embassy in DC, which we will explain.

Before doing so, we reiterate that our collective is one of independent people and organizations not affiliated with any government. While we are all US citizens, we are not agents of the United States. While we are here with permission of the Venezuelan government, we are not their agents or representatives.  

We are here in the embassy lawfully. We are breaking no laws. We did not unlawfully enter and we are not trespassing.

1. Exiting with a Protecting Power Agreement

The exit from the embassy that best resolves issues to the benefit of the United States and Venezuela is a mutual Protecting Power Agreement. The United States wants a Protecting Power for its embassy in Caracas. Venezuela wants a Protecting Power for its embassy in DC. Such agreements are not uncommon when diplomatic relations are severed. 

A Protecting Power Agreement would avoid a military conflict that could lead to war. A war in Venezuela would be catastrophic for Venezuela, the United States, and for the region. It would lead to lives lost and mass migration from the chaos and conflict of war. It would cost the United States trillions of dollars and become a quagmire involving allied countries around the world.

We are serving as interim protectors in the hope that the two nations can negotiate this resolution. If this occurs we will take the banners off the building, pack our materials, and leave voluntarily. The electricity could be turned on and we will drive out.

We suggest a video walk-through with embassy officials to show that the Embassy Protection Collective did not damage the building. The only damage to the building has been inflicted by coup supporters in the course of their unprosecuted break-ins.

2. The United States violates the Vienna Convention, makes an illegal eviction and unlawful arrests

This approach will violate international law and is fraught with risks. The United States would have to cut the chains in the front door put up by embassy staff and violate the embassy.  We have put up barriers there and at other entrances to protect us from constant break-ins and threats from the trespassers whom the police are permitting outside the embassy. The police’s failure to protect the embassy and the US  citizens inside has forced us to take these actions.

The Embassy Protectors will not barricade ourselves, or hide in the embassy in the event of an unlawful entry by police. We will gather together and peacefully assert our rights to remain in the building and uphold international law.

Any order to vacate based on a request by coup conspirators that lack governing authority will not be a lawful order. The coup has failed multiple times in Venezuela. The elected government is recognized by the Venezuelan courts under Venezuelan law and by the United Nations under international law. An order by the US-appointed coup plotters would not be legal.

Such an entry would put embassies around the world and in the United States at risk. We are concerned about US embassies and personnel around the world if the Vienna Convention is violated at this embassy. It would set a dangerous precedent that would likely be used against US embassies.

If an illegal eviction and unlawful arrests are made, we will hold all decision-makers in the chain of command and all officers who enforce unlawful orders accountable.

If there is a notice that we are trespassing and need to vacate the premises, please provide it to our attorney Mara Verhayden-Hilliard, copied on this memo.

We have taken care of this embassy and request a video tour of the building before any arrests.

We hope a wise and calm solution to this issue can be achieved so escalation of this conflict can avoided.

There is no need for the United States and Venezuela to be enemies. Resolving this embassy dispute diplomatically should lead to negotiations over other issues between the nations.

The Embassy Protection Collective
May 13, 2019

Please consider supporting us with as little as $1 per month via our Washington Babylon Patreon account. Every little bit helps and will keep us delivering great coverage
Print Friendly, PDF & Email