SOA Watch wishes to express its solidarity with the people of Venezuela in mourning the death of President Hugo Chavez. Print
The leadership of President Hugo Chavez led to dramatic improvements in the lives of the people of Venezuela, restoring hope and dignity to millions who were previously excluded from basic social rights.

In 2004, SOA Watch founder Roy Bourgeois met with President Chavez, asking him to stop sending troops to the SOA. Two years earlier, in 2002, Venezuela experienced a failed coup, in which President Chavez was kidnapped for 48 hours by a military commando. Two of the leaders of the military coup were graduates of the School of the Americas.

President Hugo Chavez agreed and Venezuela became the first nation to withdraw its troops from the School of the Americas for the benefit of its people and its democracy.

Our movement deeply honors this dignified decision that led to similar decisions by Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Nicaragua and Ecuador to withdraw their troops from the SOA/WHINSEC.

We accompany the people of Venezuela in this moment and we join them in forging Una Sola America of justice, peace, democracy, sovereignty and dignity.

In Solidarity,
SOA Watch