Illegal Collective Punishment Against Venezuelan DC Embassy Protectors
by Stephen Lendman
Dozens of embassy protectors have been living in Venezuela’s DC embassy since mid-April, holding out against an unlawful Trump regime order to leave.
The facility is sovereign Venezuelan territory. Activists protecting it from an unlawful US takeover were thanked by Bolivarian officials in Caracas, including Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.
Trump regime hardliners blocked food and medicine from reaching activists inside, along with access to the embassy.
Last evening, they had the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) cut off electricity to the facility. Water was turned off.
Along with limited food supplies, they “creat(ed) a dangerous emergency situation,” according to a press release by activists inside.
Embassy protection was organized by “CODEPINK, (the) Answer Coalition, and Popular Resistance.” They demand their rights under international and constitutional law for “electricity and water (to) be turned back on, and that food and medicines be allowed inside.”
“Since May 1, the building — with the activists inside — has been besieged by a violent (rent-a) mob (gang of thuggish) Guaido supporters, who have been preventing food, medicine, and supplies from entering with support from the US Secret Service.”
“The Secret Service and DC police are refusing to make arrests or ensure safety when peaceful activists outside the building are verbally and physically assaulted by the Guaido supporters, or when they try to deliver food into the people inside.”
CODEPINK activist Paki Weiland said the following:
“It is totally ILLEGAL and dangerous for the US cut off water and electricity, deny access to food, to those of us residing lawfully inside the embassy building as guests of the Venezuelan government.”
“It would also be totally illegal and dangerous to hand over the keys of the embassy to an unelected opposition.”
“I believe in peace and the rule of law, and we are the legal tenants of this Embassy with permission from the Venezuelan government.”
“There is no (legal) reason why the (Trump regime) and police presence should be assisting the opposition’s attempts to starve us out of the building.”
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin added the following:
“The violence and denial of access to food and water taking place at the Venezuelan Embassy in DC is a microcosm of the what is taking place in Venezuela as the US continues to try and orchestrate a coup.”
“It is dangerous and appalling. The (Trump regime) must immediately turn water and electricity back on, allow food into the building, and protect activists outside from being physically assaulted.”
Trump regime actions flagrantly violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the US Constitution, UN Charter, and international humanitarian laws.
Fourth Geneva prohibits collective punishment, penalties, intimidation, reprisals or terrorism, what actions against embassy protectors amount to.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects the right of everyone to “liberty and security of person.” No obstruction of free movement is lawful.
Everyone has the right to full protection under law. “No one shall be subject to coercion.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affords everyone “the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” Everyone has the right to full protection under law.
Embassy protectors are being denied their fundamental rights under international, constitutional, and US statute laws.
They reported that US Veterans for Peace director, Jerry Condon, was arrested for attempting to deliver food to the embassy.
Protectors vowed to remain inside until Trump regime hardliners end their attempt to topple the Venezuelan government.
Human rights lawyers say US war on the Bolivarian Republic by other means amounts to crimes of war and against humanity.
The same thing applies to lawless actions against redoubtable embassy protectors — jeopardizing their health and well-being for peace, justice, and the rule of law.
At 1:00PM eastern daylight time, embassy protectors began holding a news conference in response to cutting off food, electricity and water — crimes added to the Trump regime’s blood-drenched resume.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”