Letter to U.S. government denouncing attacks on Venezuelan Embassy
May 12, 2019

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo
U.S. Special Representative to Venezuela Elliott Abrams
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Randolph D. Alles, Director
William J. Callahan, Deputy Director
United States Secret Service
950 H Street NW #912
Washington, D.C. 20223
via email: Randolph.Alles@usss.dhs.gov, William.Callahan@usss.dhs.gov

Chief Peter Newsham
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department
300 Indiana Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
via email: Peter.Newsham@dc.gov

Mr. Idriss Jazairy
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Email : ucm@ohchr.org


The undersigned write to condemn the violations of law which are occurring at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. and to demand immediate action be taken. Prior to April 25, 2019, a group of peace activists were invited to the Embassy by the government of Venezuela – recognized as such by the United Nations - and continue to be lawfully on the premises. Nonetheless, the United States government, through various law enforcement agencies, have condoned and protected violent opponents in support of an attempted siege of the Embassy. In so doing, the U.S. government is creating a dangerous precedent for diplomatic relations with all nations. These actions are not only illegal, but they put embassies around the world at risk.

It has been no secret that the United States government has been interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela, openly supporting “regime change” and the promotion of a coup d’état. Regardless of differing opinions of the Maduro government, the U.S. government’s failed attempt at an orchestrated coup in Caracas is now being directed at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington D.C. Secret Service agents, tasked to protect the inviolability of foreign embassies under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, are currently permitting violent opposition demonstrators to physically attack the Embassy, assault the peaceful invitees and prevent them from entering the Embassy with supplies of food and water. Video footage discloses multiple and on-going episodes of mob violence, including physical assaults, theft of food supplies, and the hurling of racist, sexist and homophobic slurs at those expressing to support the peace activists inside the Embassy. The president of Veterans for Peace was tackled, bloodied and arrested by Secret Service agents to prevent him from delivering food to the invitees. This week, apparently at the behest of the U.S. State Department and with no notice or due process as required by law, the utility company Pepco cut off electricity to the Embassy.

U.S law enforcement authorities, including the Secret Service, have allowed the mob outside the Embassy to encircle the building with tents and canopies and place sentinels 24 hours a day at the doors to physically block food from entering the building. They have attempted to break the Embassy doors down or drill through them and have allowed the mob to paper over the outside windows so that those inside cannot see out and protect themselves from attack. Repeatedly, members of the violent opposition have been allowed to break into the building and cause destruction and damage to Embassy property, windows and doorways, as well as threatening the persons inside with death and rape. The Secret Service has refused to arrest these persons even though they have been directly apprehended undertaking these unlawful acts. The refusal to arrest, and the immediate release of these violent persons back into the surrounding mob, is emboldening violent actions. On May 12, 2019, at 3:15 a.m. and again at 12:45 p.m. there were two more attempted break-ins. Despite these actions occurring in front of law enforcement, police refuse to act to protect the diplomatic compound, arrest, or even move the violent offenders away from direct proximity.

The United States’ failure to provide guarantees of security and protection to diplomatic personnel, the Embassy and its guests is in clear violation of the most basic tenets of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in particular Articles 22 and 45, which was ratified by the United States in 1972. It is well-established law that the people inside the premises of an Embassy, the Embassy’s property and its archives are covered by the Vienna Convention.
The United States, by its actions towards regime change and threats of violence against Venezuela, also violates Article 2.4 of the United Nations Charter which was ratified in 1945 and which is binding upon all members states.

The contempt shown by the Trump Administration for these principles and for international law puts at risk the entire system of diplomatic relations which could have a reverberating effect in nations throughout the world.
The undersigned demand that the United States immediately cease its on-going state-sponsored assault and illegal intervention in Venezuela and against its government, which continues to be recognized by the United Nations and the majority of the world. We demand that local and federal law enforcement immediately refrain from exposing the peaceful invitees and their supporters inside and outside the Embassy to harm in violation of their fundamental human rights.

Signed,

Jeanne Mirer, President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Elena Cohen, President, National Lawyers Guild
Vanessa Ramos, President, Asociación Americana de Juristas
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Past President, National Lawyers Guild
Azadeh Shahshahani, Past President, National Lawyers Guild; Legal & Advocacy Director, Project South
Bruce D. Nestor, Past President, National Lawyers Guild
Suzanne Adely, Bureau Member, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Co-Chair National Lawyers Guild International
Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Cynthia Soohoo, Professor, CUNY School of Law
Mark Brodin, Professor, Boston College Law School
Jack Jackson, Professor of Politics, Whitman College
George Kallas, Professor of Political Science and History, Miramar College
Susan Scott, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the Americas
Dean Hubbard, Chair, Labor and Employment Committee, National Lawyers Guild
Judy Somberg, Chair, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the Americas
Daniel Meyers, Past President, NYC Chapter, National Lawyers Guild
Judith Mirkinson, President, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
James Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles ChapterBryan K. Bullock, President, Indiana Chapter National Lawyers Guild
Ann Wilcox, Board member, DC Chapter, National Lawyers Guild
Charlotte Kates, National Lawyers Guild International Committee
Ann Schneider, Executive Committee, National Lawyers Guild New York City Chapter
Aaron Frishberg, Delegate, National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force
David Gespass, Past President, National Lawyers Guild
Rosalee Gonzalez, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network
Anna Nathanson, President, Harvard Law School National Lawyers Guild chapter
Carlin Meyer, Professor, New York Law School
Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor, International Human Rights, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Janet Larson, Associate Professor of English, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Michael Steven Smith, co-host, Law and Disorder Radio
Michael York, Professor Emeritus, Cherry Hill Seminary
Brian Concannon, Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Beatrice Lindstrom, Legal Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Sienna Merope-Synge, Attorney, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Rick Sterling, Board President, Task Force on the Americas
Roger Harris, Director, Task Force on the Americas
Sara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action Center
Kathleen Gilberd, Executive Director, Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild
Georgia Wever, Coordinator, Friends & Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
John C. Reiger, State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party of California; Chapter President, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 887
Jeffrey Frank, National Coordinator, Friends of the MST; National Lawyers Guild International Committee
Jackelyn Mariano, Co-Chair, International Committee, National Lawyers Guild
Kira Kelley, Chairperson, National Lawyers Guild, Vermont Chapter
Gary Silbiger, Past President, Los Angeles chapter, National Lawyers Guild
Camilo Perez-Bustillo, Coordinator, Permanent Secretariat, International Tribunal of Conscience of Peoples in Movement
Luis Carlos Moro, General Secretary, American Association of Jurists
Rocca Claudia Viviana, President, Asociación Argentina de Juristas
John Philpot, Membre, Barreau du Québec, Association Américaine de Juristes
Beinusz Szmukler, President, Observatorio de la Justicia Argentina
Alejandro Torres Rivera, Past President, Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto Rico
Walter Antillon Montealegre, Professor Emeritus, Universidad de Costa Rica
Micol Savia, Permanent Representative, UN Human Rights Council, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Fabio Marcelli, Italian Association of Democratic Jurists; Bureau member, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Martha L. Schmidt, National Lawyers Guild International Committee, past Chair of World Peace Through Law Section, Washington State Bar Association
Gianfranco Fattorini, Main Representative at the UN-Geneva, Asociación Americana de Juristas
Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE
Michael Deutsch, People's Law Office
Maria Mari, Periódico Claridad
Peter Haberfeld, National Lawyers Guild
Pasquale Lombardo, National Lawyers Guild
Gary Hicks, National Lawyers Guild
Peter Berkowitz, National Lawyers Guild
Bill Montross, National Lawyers Guild
Janine L. Hoft, Partner, People's Law Office
Mark Stern, National Lawyers Guild International Committee
Andrew Reid, National Lawyers Guild
Chris Ford, Attorney at Law
Marcelo Chalreo, Asociación Americana de Juristas
Charlotte Phillips, M.D., Chairperson, Brooklyn for Peace
David L. Mandel, National Lawyers Guild, International Committee
Beth Lyons, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Robert G.S. Hartzer, National Lawyers Guild
Philip Fornaci, attorney
Natalie H. Rees, National Lawyers Guild
William H. Emmons, attorney, Emmons & Puckett, PLLC
Jennifer McCoy, National Lawyers Guild
Rev. George E. Blair III, Attorney at law
Frederick A. Anderson, investigator, Anderson Law
Mike Todd, Co-Coordinator, UVGEAR
Deborah C. Anderson, Attorney, Anderson Law
Clare Hanusz, Attorney, Aloha Immigration
John Spitzberg, Veterans for Peace
Terry J. Lodge, National Lawyers Guild
Stephen Laudig, National Lawyers Guild
Luna Martinez, National Lawyers Guild International Committee
LuAnne Kozma, National Lawyers Guild
Steven Gilmore, Attorney, Simpson & Gilmore, PLLC
Lauren I. Freidenberg, civil rights litigator
John Upton, National Lawyers Guild
Cameron Green, Attorney
Robert D. Skeels, People's College of Law
Shannah Kurlan, Attorney at Law
James Squire, MD, Physicians for a National Health Program
Ted Hamilton, Attorney, Climate Defense Project
Soffiyah Elijah, Attorney
Matt Clark, National Lawyers Guild
James Marc Leas, National Lawyers Guild
Christian L. Torp, attorney
Chet Lexvold, National Lawyers Guild and Democratic Socialists of America
Riva Enteen, National Lawyers Guild
Tyler Zaremba, National Lawyers Guild,
Sarah Parker, Attorney
Collin Poirot, National Lawyers Guild
Nickolas Kaplan, National Lawyers Guild
Ranojoy Guha, National Lawyers Guild
Mary Elieisar, National Lawyers Guild
Mari Inoue, National Lawyers Guild
Melinda Power, Attorney, West Town Law Office
Ted Pearson, Co-Chair, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Osha Neumann, Attorney, East Bay Community Law Center
Haley M Pollock, National Lawyers Guild
Isabelle Gunning, Attorney and Law Professor
Gilbert Saucedo, National Lawyers Guild
William G. Iannaccone, National Lawyers Guild
Saurav Sarkar, assistant editor
Dawn Whitney, National Lawyers Guild
Carol Watson, National Lawyers Guild
Constance Norgren, Brooklyn for Peace
Joshua Carrin, Attorney
Thom C. Donnelly, Pile Drivers Local Union
Tyler Zaremba, National Lawyers Guild
Margaret S. Kuzee, school nurse
Julie Levine, National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer
Jez Nguyen, National Lawyers Guild
Jennifer M. Rellick, National Lawyers Guild
Jon Sternberg, Bay Area National Lawyers Guild
Elizabeth Erlich, National Lawyers Guild
Jean Ross, Attorney
Mark Schuller, Associate Professor
Andra N. Oakes, Attorney
Eileen Weitzman, National Lawyers Guild
Kay H. Brown, National Lawyers Guild
Eugene Weizel, retired Child Protective Services
Val Merlina, Pittsburgh Chapter, National Lawyers Guild
Peter Korman, National Lawyers Guild
Jan Susler, Attorney
Nancy Hormachea, National Lawyers Guild
Daniel Ress, National Lawyers Guild
Ann F. O'Berry, Past Regional Vice President, National Lawyers Guild
Gary Fitzgerald, Attorney
Lanlan Hoo, West Suburban Faith Based Peace Coalition
Virginia Feldman, Social Justice Coalition
Hugo Chiabes, Cuartel de la Montaña
John Weber, Professor Emeritus
Arthur Jackson, Humanist Community in San Jose
Nicolas McKee, Immigration program specialist
Sonja Rajkovich, Attorney
Frank Goetz, West Suburban Faith Based Peace Coalition
Thuy Anh Tran, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, PSC-CUNY, Baruch College
Deborah Hope, Attorney
Suzanne Myron, Attorney
R. Lawrence Tripp, Los Angeles County Public Defender
Bruce Scotton, MD, Clinical Professor
Yasmeen Majid, Treasurer, BPPCC
Melia Cerrato, National Lawyers Guild
Leslie Weilbaum, retired attorney
Gary Casselman, Attorney
Carolina Cositore Sitrin, G.A.L. for 12th Circuit Court Sarasota
Jason Pfetcher, Attorney
David McAleer, Attorney
Tobey M. Wiebe, Grandmothers Against War
Emily Yo, Attorney
Sarah Mills, Attorney
Diana Bohn, Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Trisha Meija, Law student
Carol I. Moeller Costa, Task Force on the Americas
Roger Stoll, Attorney
Thomas Patrick Lynch, National Lawyers Guild
Peter Costanza, National Lawyers Guild
Ann Fawcett Ambia, National Lawyers Guild
Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity
Phil Goldsmith, Retired attorney
Garrett Wright, Attorney
Gabriel Montero, steering committee member, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Edward Goldman, Fort Greene Peace
Anne Kaufman, National Lawyers Guild
Mary Buchwald, Brooklyn for Peace
Theresa Cameranesi, Marin Interfaith Task Force
Richard Blum, Attorney
Carlos Orjuela, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Bruce Plenk, Attorney
Robert Lesko, UCATS, Local 3882, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO
Georgia Guida, Brooklyn for Peace
Michael Smalz, Attorney
Kathleen M. Johnson, Attorney, National Lawyers Guild
Sam Koprak, Brooklyn for Peace
Stan Woods, former executive board member, ILWU #6
Stanley Kaster, Brooklyn Progressive Action
Alan Essner, Brooklyn for Peace
Neil Berman, National Lawyers Guild
Antonia N. Loconte, Attorney
C. T. Weber, Legislative Committee Chair, Peace and Freedom Party
David Landry, Orange County Peace and Freedom Party
Michael Endick, National Lawyers Guild
Paul Ross, National Lawyers Guild
Martin Almada, Attorney
Joanne Kostofsky, retired attorney
Ira Jacobowitz, California administrative law judge
Brady Mabe, law student
Matthew Erard, National Lawyers Guild
Philip Jaros, National Lawyers Guild
Arnold Kawano, National Lawyers Guild
Susanne Griffin, National Lawyers Guild
Mohammed Suhail, Law student
Kevin O'Donnell, Attorney
Chris Lopez, Coordinator, School of the Americas Watch East Bay California
Donna Goodman, ANSWER Coalition
Adrianne Aron, School ofthe Americas Watch
Fernando Mercado, host of E Pluribus Unum
Ryan Carmichael
Barbara Upton
James Kislingbury
Kenyatta Yamel, independent progressive
Robert Toon, MD, US Army, Retired, VA, Retired
Devin Baker
Maytal Bach, student
Prashanth Mundkur
Sherryl Beamon
Susan Epstein
Tomas Gayton
P. Hogan
Alan Batten
Larry Lima
Donald Goldhammer, civil liberties advocate
Victoria McFayen
Blair Sandler
Glen Janken, teacher
Edward Briody
Barbara Vanhorn
George Laudadio
Jim Simons
Val Sanfilippo
Mary Cicco
Joan Phillips
Rosie Hinnebusch
Robert F. Mann
Joel Isaacson
Zach Fitzner
Kate Perino
Marina Shpirt
Sylvia Schwarz
Toni Mayer
Tracy McLellan
Benjamin Evans
Mike Penka
Jan Weber
Julie Ruben
John Ota
Peter Belmont
Enzo Bard, PhD
Mark E. Smith
Peter Szafran
Henry Rodriguez
Catherine M Stanford
Cameron Bishop
Beverly Slapin
Jim Newman
Brian Hayden
Mark Dempsey
Patricia Silver
Gail Lelyveld
Ann Sprayregen
Sean Daly
Kevin Lindemann
Reagan Cooper
Nancy Greenwald Alvarez
Ryan Gregory Usher
Daniel F. Downing
Jules Mermelstein
Cathy Rossi
Brad Gayman
Jacob Novak


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