At a time that the international community has been rightly pre-concerned with the spread of COVID-19, the Trump administration in the United States has seized the opportunity to drastically widen the scope of its hostile and illegal manoeuvres aimed at regime change in Venezuela. In order to justify its plans, in complete contravention of international law, the Trump administration has embarked on an intense hostile publicity campaign which questions the legitimacy of the South American country’s democratically elected president, parliament and judiciary. The US president has announced a huge reward for any force that kidnaps his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, whose authority he refuses to recognise.
Amidst of this destabilising campaign, and with punishing economic sanctions mounting on Venezuela, the international media has reported an attempted coup plot against the legitimate government in Caracas earlier in May. According to the reports and information widely available now, a US-supported group of armed mercenaries had established a command base in La Guairá port to attack Venezuela from the sea. Furthermore, the reported objective of the incursion was to create the conditions for a wider direct military intervention launched from outside Venezuela’s borders.
The confessions by the arrested mercenaries, and the documents confiscated from them, prove beyond any doubt that the US administration was directly involved in the planning and resourcing of the operation. Amongst the documents seized were contracts signed by the mercenaries (some of whom were former US-military personnel) regarding the aborted plot. The mercenaries have confessed that they had intended to kidnap President Maduro as well as assassinate several other high-ranking state figures.
The US president has proven that international laws, protocols, and the UN Charter, count for nothing for his ultra-right-wing and populist administration. The UN Secretary General has called for an immediate cessation of wars and military offensives worldwide so as to enable the imperative countering of the coronavirus pandemic and its myriad consequences. However, the United States continues with its intimidatory rhetoric, threats, as well as the unilateral imposition of its will on sovereign countries.
Washington’s use of mercenary “contractors” (to quote the false language of the Pentagon) to carry out terrorist operations and armed attacks is not something new… It has done so throughout the countries in the Middle East, wreaking bloodshed and chaos in the process. And, the various announcements of Elliott Abrams, Mike Pompeo, and the president himself, calling for the downfall of Venezuela’s legitimate government; the directing of US intelligence agencies to try and provoke a rebellion from within the Venezuelan armed forces; multiple instances of harassment in the diplomatic arena; the sabotaging of the country’s economy; and the fomenting of violent unrest in the interior of the country, all add up to give an insight to the constant and intolerable interference by the US in the internal affairs of another sovereign country with only disastrous consequences.
The world has not forgotten that Washington’s designs have long plagued the Americas… Whether through the imposition of military dictatorships and death squads in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; lurking behind those military forces that betrayed their compatriots, installing in place the likes of Stroessner, Videla and Pinochet; agitating for the overthrow of the legitimate government of Evo Morales and supervising its replacement with the Áñez dictatorship in Bolivia; driving the conspiracy to jail Lula and prevent him from running for election again, and supporting Bolsonaro’s incompetent and reckless far-right government in Brazil; or the ruthless blockade against Cuba, now approaching its seventh decade.
The US administration should no longer be allowed to violate international law, and the provisions of the UN Charter, nor to resort to the unilateral imposition of its will based on its sheer and unchecked military might, its self-appointed role as the world’s sheriff and master, or the supposed primacy of its interests above all others of mankind.
The world is a less secure and stable one because of Trump’s senseless abrogation of the Paris Climate Agreement; the UN-backed JCPoA Agreement with Iran, despite the latter’s complete compliance as testified to by the IAEA; and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed with Russia in the late-1980s. The situation has deteriorated ever further with his administration’s moves to back the racist and expansionist Israeli government, in its illegal staking of sovereignty over Jerusalem as its sole capital and its plans to formally annex increasingly large swathes of the West Bank; its abrupt withdrawal from the UNRWA, UNHRC, and UNESCO – citing supposed anti-Israel bias – and more recently from the WHO; as well as the tightening of the embargo on Cuba, rolling back on the relative détente that had taken place during the Obama presidency.
Liberation is also increasingly concerned with the reported support of the UK government for the US’ position and illegal manoeuvrings regarding Venezuela.
This follows the Venezuela’s formal complaint and warning to Britain against “coup-mongering” after the uncovering of a “Venezuelan Reconstruction Unit” within the auspices of the Foreign Office. The unit, headed up by a former UK ambassador to Venezuela, is believed to have been briefed with taking part in the “rebuilding” of Venezuela and promoting of British interests subsequent to the removal of Maduro and the Bolivarian government. This a year after the British government was forced to deny allegations that it was training a militia of Venezuelans with reconnaissance and sabotage at a military base in neighbouring Guyana and whom would be deployed to take part in the armed overthrow of the Venezuelan government. Also last year, after Freedom of Information requests, the British Foreign Office confirmed it was involved in the funding and operation of several Venezuelan opposition media outlets, as well as bogus “company unions” contrary to international labour law (ILO Convention 98, article 2).
Liberation calls on all forces that support the rule of law, internationally as well as domestically; the respecting of the UN Charter; and advocate peace and peaceful coexistence amongst nations, to denounce the US intervention in Venezuela. We call on all governments, including the UK and countries in the European Union, to declare their opposition to any intervention – direct or otherwise – in the internal affairs of Venezuela, a sovereign country. We call on them to demand that the US administration fully complies with international law and the UN Charter, as well as respects the notion of peaceful coexistence between different peoples and societies. The people of Venezuela are the sole authority in choosing the political system, and deciding the future direction, of their country through democratic means and procedures and without any external interference or threat.