On January 23, 2019, Juan Guaidó declared himself president of Venezuela following a phone call from the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. In doing so, the US and Guaidó are attempting a coup d’etat to achieve Washington’s longstanding goal of removing Nicolás Maduro from the presidency of Venezuela.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Senator Marco Rubio, and US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams are working hard with the Venezuelan opposition, and with other right-wing governments across the globe, to carry out a coup against this Latin American country. A recent article by Mint Press News recounted Elliott Abrams’ ominous historical role guiding disastrous US intervention in Latin America, “Abrams is notorious for overseeing the US covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980’s in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. His lead role in the Venezuelan coup has stoked fears that another blood-drenched proxy war might be on the way.”
Today, world leaders from across the globe met in Montevideo, Uruguay “to establish the basis for a new dialogue mechanism that includes all the forces in Venezuela, in order to help restore peace in that country.” Instead ofparticipating in these meetings and agreeing to dialogue, the Trump administration is threatening a military invasion in Venezuela and Guaidó is calling on the military to defy their commitment to the Venezuelan Constitution.
While the vast majority of US Congresspeople have been dangerously silent in the face of Trump’s illegal policies for regime change in Venezuela, we will not be silent! Please join SOA Watch and allies from around the hemisphere in TAKING ACTIONS TODAY by asking your Congresspeople to oppose and speak out against US military, economic, or political intervention in Venezuela.
This is not the first time that the US government has attempted to use force to overthrow the Venezuelan government. On April 12, 2002, the Venezuela opposition received US support — in complicity with some military personnel, including School of the Americas’ graduate, General Efraín Vázquez — to orchestrate a 48 hour coup d’etat in Venezuela that sought to forcibly remove President Hugo Chávez.
Before the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2004, the Venezuelan government publicly denounced the role of the US government and US organizations in the attempted 2002 coup d’état. That same year, SOA Watch founder and SOA Watch staff member, Roy Bourgeois and Lisa Sullivan respectively, met with President Hugo Chávez. Following the meeting, President Chavez decided to withdraw the Venezuelan soldiers from training at the School of the Americas, also known as the “School of Assassins”.
Undoubtedly, the US and its agencies have a long history of trying to undermine democracy in Venezuela. This US imperialist interventionism is in flagrant violation of the United Nations and the Organization of American States charters, which recognize the principles of national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes, and prohibit threats or the use of force against other nations.
In a statement issued on January 29, 2019, the National Lawyers Guild wrote, “directly fomenting a coup in a sovereign nation is not only illegal and outright shunned by the international community, it fundamentally undermines any pretextual concern about interference by other nations in U.S. elections.”
For the aforementioned reasons, SOA Watch rejects and condemns the intervention and military threats that the United States continues to make against Venezuela. We also reject the economic sanctions that the Trump administration has decreed against Venezuela – they will undoubtedly have the greatest effect on the Venezuelan people, debilitating their ability to access food and medicine that must be bought abroad. It is the people of Venezuela who should determine their future, not the economic powers that be in Washington, DC.