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Venezuelan Embassy Siege: U.S. violating Vienna Convention “Facilitating Right-Wing Mob’s Illegal Acts”, say experts

Institute for Public Accuracy

In an apparently unprecedented situation, a group of peace activists, known as the Embassy Protection Collective, have been at the Venezuelan embassy while it is besieged and attacked by backers of the Venezuelan opposition.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, mvh at justiceonline.org, @ThePCJF
Verheyden-Hilliard, is executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. She said today that the peace activists at the Venezuelan embassy “remain lawfully present until divested of that right, which has not happened. If they were not lawfully present law enforcement would be able to take lawful steps to have them leave, but instead it is trying to force them to leave by allowing and facilitating a right-wing mob to commit repeated illegal acts — directly in front of law enforcement who repeatedly allow such criminal acts — in an effort to besiege and embargo the embassy. If the State Department or the police had probable cause to assert they are present unlawfully they have the means to address that. In lieu of legal process they are conducting and facilitating an unlawful effort to violate the civil rights of those lawfully present in the building.”

See video of Verheyden-Hilliard challenging Secret Service officers as they refuse to take action after a supporter of the opposition was apparently found to be attempting to use a drill to try to enter the back of the embassy. (The loud siren in the background is from a bullhorn, one of the tactics used by the opposition supporters to create a chaotic atmosphere.)

Peace activists were arrested yesterday, apparently for attempting to throw food and medicine into the embassy after the opposition forces seized control of the entrances and refused to allow people or food in. An opposition supporter was detained only after apparently physically assaulting a peace activist, see more videos at @codepink.

See Verheyden-Hilliard’s letter to the United States Secret Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department: “As you know, the Embassy is protected by the Vienna Convention and under that binding law the ‘premises of the mission shall be inviolable.’ Under the law the ‘premises of the mission’ include not only the building but the ‘land ancillary thereto.’ This without question includes the area of the front steps and landing, the back steps, and the back walkway. The host country is required to ensure that the mission and its premises are not violated.”

See recent interview with Verheyden-Hilliard on FAIR’s radio program, CounterSpin.

Cover image © Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne.

 

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wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Not that there isn’t a single international convention or other symbol of human decency that the US has NOT violated…
Are we still seriously expecting an improvement in this area?
This is a rogue regime and its behaviour cannot be remedied, because it’s too late for remedies.
The delinquent children have grown up to be the delinquent Congressmen, Senators and Supreme Court judges we have today, and it should soon be pretty obvious to all that what’s coming is an “every man for himself” society.
I honestly can’t see any other way this could end.
A few will be delighted with it, but most will wish they had never been born, or, even worse, they will not even be able to remember a time when utter selfishness was not the main purpose of human life.
Wish I knew what to do about it, but I’m glad I’m an elderly grandfather, rather than a new father.
This is heading where no young person should have to go.

Nick
Reader
Nick

I get it that the MSM accounts are biased; but this isn’t any better, it’s just biased to the other side.

Where can ordinary people find the truth about events like the Venezuela embassy standoff? Where are responsible journalists?
Venezuela seems to be a complicated issue. Yes, the US government, with typical arrogance, has greatly worsened the situation in Venezuela and is trying to impose its will on the country. On the other hand, it does seem that Maduro rigged the last election, and a number of South American countries agree. I read a lot of sources and I have no real idea what the reality is on the ground in Venezuela.

mark
Reader
mark

No, Maduro didn’t rig the last election. He was democratically elected in a free and fair election endorsed as such by many independent international observers from different creditable election monitoring groups. The voting system in Venezuela is much superior to that in most countries in the world (and that certainly includes the USA), and cannot be tampered with. That idiot Pence was complaining about “ballot stuffing,” impossible in Venezuela, which has sophisticated electronic voting machines. Any election that produces a result Washington doesn’t like, whether it’s in Venezuela, Iran, Palestine, Russia, or anywhere else, is automatically “rigged”, “illegitimate”, “stolen”, “null and void.” Strangely, though, this concern for “democracy” does not extend to Shady Wahabia or any of the Gulf Dictatorships, where no elections, rigged or otherwise, are ever held, and anybody who asks for one is beheaded and/ or crucified.

Gweedo and his buddies refused to take part in this and previous elections, following instructions from their paymasters in Washington. It was obvious to all concerned they hadn’t a hope of winning. Instead, for years they have tried and failed to seize power through violence, staging riots where people are killed and burned to death and public buildings torched, through a failed assassination attempt against Maduro, pimping for an invasion of the country and escalating economic strangulation by the Yew Ess Ayy, and trying without much success to stage various coups which invariably rapidly degenerate into broad farce.

These people will never gain power democratically. They form a small comprador elite who worship at the altar of all things American. You can find similar people in most of Latin America and across the world, characters who are ready and eager to act as Washington’s local satraps in the looting of their own countries, so long as they get a share of the spoils.

Venezuela must be the only country in the world where you can stage violent street riots with many people killed, attempt to murder the president, travel to a hostile neighbouring country to solicit a military invasion and war, and try to incite a military mutiny to overthrow the government. Some dictatorship. Try pulling the same stunts in the Yew Ess Ayy or the Yew Kay and your feet won’t touch the ground.

Nick
Reader
Nick

The majority of popular leaders of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the opposition’s main electoral alliance, and other members of the opposition could not apply for the elections because of administrative and legal procedures and were disqualified from participating in the presidential elections by the government. This included Henrique Capriles (candidate in the 2012 and 2013 elections), Leopoldo López (sentenced to almost 14 years of prison during the 2014 protests), Antonio Ledezma (arrested in 2015 and later placed under house arrest), Freddy Guevara (whose parliamentary immunity was removed and fled to the residence of the Chilean ambassador), and David Smolansky (currently in exile), as well as María Corina Machado and Miguel Rodríguez Torres, former defense minister and dissident chavista, also incarcerated.
Consequently the election was widely boycotted – the turnout was only 46%, the lowest in Venezuela’s democratic history. Compare with turnout of 80% in the 2012 election.
Most international observers did not endorse the election results, including the Lima group (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia). Of course a few countries did, including North Korea.
It was not just Washington that said the elections were rigged, it was the overwhelming majority of countries. All this can be checked on several non-US news sources.

davemass
Reader
davemass

This is so American! One law for us, one for everyone else.
Use drones to get food, etc to the roof!.
The Trump regime is a complete disaster- Why did he use Pompeo and Bolton,
Abrahams? Total d**kheads. Did he have no choice? Deep State telling him what to do?

systemicfraud
Reader
systemicfraud

WHY is the USA taking such wild swings to overthrow the Venezuelan government and starting trade wars with China and the EU?

Beyond the writing of Alfred McCoy and Chris Hedges, which claim the USA is in the late stage of Empire–the USA is $23 Trillion in debt and in 2024 will enter a phase in which it will begin paying only interest on the debt.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-01/minsky-moment-starting-2024-all-us-debt-issuance-will-be-used-pay-interest-debt

If the USA can steal Venezuela’s oil and gain income by placing tariffs on imports–that may help the USA stay afloat before the critical 2024 timeline of interest only payments begins…

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

” … the USA is $23 Trillion in debt and in 2024 will enter a phase in which it will begin paying only interest on the debt.” And that’s only sovereign debt, i.e., debt of the Federal government. Debt to the GDP is now 105%. But it gets a lot worse than this.

U.S. non-financial corporate debt hit a post-crisis high of 72% of GDP: At around $14.5 trillion in 2017, non-financial corporate sector debt was $810 billion higher than it was a year ago, with 60% of the rise stemming from new bank loan creation. At present, bond financing accounts for 43% of outstanding debt with an average maturity of 15 years vs. the average maturity of 2.1 years for U.S. business loans. This implies roughly around $3.8 trillion of loan repayment per year. Against this backdrop, rising interest rates will add pressure on corporates with large refinancing needs.

There are also three alarming points in this paragraph
.
First, corporate debt is now 72% of GDP. That’s in addition to the government debt that is approaching (or has passed depending on how you count debt) 100% of GDP and household debt at 77% of GDP.

Add in 81% financial sector debt, and the U.S. combined debt-to-GDP ratio is near 330%.

Of course this is never going to be repaid, so the get out will be 1) Outright default, or 2) Inflation. This is going to be Weimar Germany on steroids.

mark
Reader
mark

Very true, but the real debt is about $250 trillion.

systemicfraud
Reader
systemicfraud

Pretty sure the US also took illegal actions against the Russian government’s embassies in the US–an overreaction to the Skirpal poisonings, but the Washington and Seattle embassies were closed down and the Russians kicked out in 2018.

So, this is becoming a pattern–not a one-time event.

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

Jimmy Dore’s latest on this very subject:

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

Seems links don’t work: Reporter INSIDE Venezuelan Embassy Under Siege! w/Anya Parampil

peasant43
Reader
peasant43

Corruption. Blah Blah Blah…

The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and
money began to play an important part in determining
elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread to
the law courts. And then to the army, and finally the
Republic was subjected to the rule of emperors

Plutarch

Michael McNulty
Reader
Michael McNulty

The US government is a criminal enterprise, a regime specialised in gangster politics.

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

Netanyahu is again murdering civilians in Palestine, Bolanaro is busy reversing social advances in Brazil (gaining power after a soft US-backed coup) while the US is abandoning ilong standing diplomatic principles to enable mob rule outside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington or by applying economic presuure on Ecuador to gain access to whistleblowers who exposed their war crimes (Julian Assange).

This is precisely what fascism looks like but for the Guardian’s neocon apologist in-chief, Nick Cohen, it is Jeremy Corbyn, Len McCluskey, Seumas Milne, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott who are ‘boot licking propagandists’. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/05/remember-orwells-chilling-warning-to-boot-licking-propagandists

Even by the Guardian’s abject standards Cohen is an outlier; a frothing loose cannon and war apologist who long ago gave up the pretence of conducting impartial political analysis, instead prefering to rant endlessly about his monomania (Jeremy Corbyn) or the terrible dangers inherent in not viewing the world from the perspective of the ‘Project for the New American Century’.

In the era of information wars and ‘fake news’ sites like Off-G have become more important than ever, if only as a means to balance the madness that permeates so much of the 24-hour, MSM news cycle, and the endless lies they tell.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Rawnsley is also attacking Corbyn and Labour in the Guardian today.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

My mention today of Rawnsley and Cohen being against Corbyn was moderated by CIF.

bevin
Reader
bevin

The intensity and persistence of the attacks on Corbyn should alert people to the fact that, whether or not they regard him and the democratised Labour Party as just another politician aiming to betray the pure, the Israelis and the capitalist class take the threat that he represents to neo-liberalism very seriously.
From the point of view of the “Left” with its traditions of backbiting sectarianism this ought to be a signal that, in this matter, they can relax: there is no need to trivialise Corbyn’s avowed intention to bring the Party around to his way of thinking on anti-imperialism, withdrawing from US dominated military alliances, Palestinian rights and the egalitarian reconstruction of British society. If they don’t believe a word of it, at least the ruling class and its ideologues and slanderers take Corbyn, the Labour Party and the power of the common people very seriously. If they did not they would not risk their credibility and the dregs of their reputations on these increasingly unhinged smears and groundless slanders.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

I might agree with you that Corbyn should be defended against threats from the establishment attacks, but hey, he bottled it against the anti-semitism charge against him and with the Labour party accepting the IHRA definition, bottled it by saying Assange should face the rape charges in Sweden, and backed Remain in the Referendum campaign and has shown exceptional tolerance for the Blairite traitors as well as an open zionist front in Labour Friends of Israel. He has proven to be an exceptionally weak leader or nice bloke, but the outcome is the same.

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

the flak will be heaviest when directly over the target. they are, metaphorically, and in print, shitting their collective pants. if it didn’t make me slightly uneasy, it would put a huge grin on my face. schadenfreude is my middle name these days. a few chickens coming home to roost, methinks. let’s hope the targets of these frothing, loony attacks hold their collective nerves. if you think about it, antisemitismgate is our russiagate.

Brian harry
Reader
Brian harry

Further proof that the United States Government have no respect for International Law, the UN, The International Criminal Court, Julian Assange, or anyone other than themselves. The American Government are a bunch of International Outlaws, with lunatics like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and a Congo line of Zionists and Neo-cons, whose first loyalty is NOT to the USA.
The USA is in Deep Trouble when the hierarchy behave in the manner we see every day…….

bob
Reader
bob

I call it the US regime, as that’s what it is ;-D

Mike S Goodmann
Reader
Mike S Goodmann

Are you sure that they’re Secret Service and not Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) of State?

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

‘Mister President, Mister President, we’ve violated the Vienna convention’
‘You know son, that’s my favourite after shave too’