Secretary of State Michael PompeoU.S. Special Representative to Venezuela Elliott AbramsU.S. Department of State2201 C Street NWWashington, DC 20520
Randolph D. Alles, DirectorWilliam J. Callahan, Deputy DirectorUnited States Secret Service950 H Street NW #912Washington, D.C. 20223via email: Randolph.Alles@usss.dhs.gov, William.Callahan@usss.dhs.gov
Chief Peter NewshamD.C. Metropolitan Police Department300 Indiana Ave. NWWashington, DC 20001via 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 : email@example.com
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.
Jeanne Mirer, President, International Association of Democratic LawyersElena Cohen, President, National Lawyers GuildVanessa Ramos, President, Asociación Americana de JuristasMara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director, Partnership for Civil Justice FundNatasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Past President, National Lawyers GuildAzadeh Shahshahani, Past President, National Lawyers Guild; Legal & Advocacy Director, Project South Bruce D. Nestor, Past President, National Lawyers GuildSuzanne Adely, Bureau Member, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Co-Chair National Lawyers Guild International Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of LawCynthia Soohoo, Professor, CUNY School of LawMark Brodin, Professor, Boston College Law SchoolJack Jackson, Professor of Politics, Whitman College George Kallas, Professor of Political Science and History, Miramar CollegeSusan Scott, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the AmericasDean Hubbard, Chair, Labor and Employment Committee, National Lawyers GuildJudy Somberg, Chair, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the AmericasDaniel Meyers, Past President, NYC Chapter, National Lawyers GuildJudith Mirkinson, President, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area ChapterJames Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles ChapterBryan K. Bullock, President, Indiana Chapter National Lawyers GuildAnn Wilcox, Board member, DC Chapter, National Lawyers GuildCharlotte Kates, National Lawyers Guild International CommitteeAnn Schneider, Executive Committee, National Lawyers Guild New York City ChapterAaron Frishberg, Delegate, National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task ForceDavid Gespass, Past President, National Lawyers GuildRosalee Gonzalez, Executive Director, US Human Rights NetworkAnna Nathanson, President, Harvard Law School National Lawyers Guild chapterCarlin Meyer, Professor, New York Law SchoolDaniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor, International Human Rights, University of Pittsburgh School of LawJanet Larson, Associate Professor of English, Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyMichael Steven Smith, co-host, Law and Disorder RadioMichael York, Professor Emeritus, Cherry Hill SeminaryBrian Concannon, Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in HaitiBeatrice Lindstrom, Legal Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in HaitiSienna Merope-Synge, Attorney, Institute for Justice and Democracy in HaitiRick Sterling, Board President, Task Force on the AmericasRoger Harris, Director, Task Force on the AmericasSara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action CenterKathleen Gilberd, Executive Director, Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers GuildGeorgia Wever, Coordinator, Friends & Family of the Abraham Lincoln BrigadeJohn C. Reiger, State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party of California; Chapter President, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 887Jeffrey Frank, National Coordinator, Friends of the MST; National Lawyers Guild International CommitteeJackelyn Mariano, Co-Chair, International Committee, National Lawyers GuildKira Kelley, Chairperson, National Lawyers Guild, Vermont ChapterGary Silbiger, Past President, Los Angeles chapter, National Lawyers GuildCamilo Perez-Bustillo, Coordinator, Permanent Secretariat, International Tribunal of Conscience of Peoples in Movement Luis Carlos Moro, General Secretary, American Association of JuristsRocca Claudia Viviana, President, Asociación Argentina de JuristasJohn Philpot, Membre, Barreau du Québec, Association Américaine de JuristesBeinusz Szmukler, President, Observatorio de la Justicia ArgentinaAlejandro Torres Rivera, Past President, Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto RicoWalter Antillon Montealegre, Professor Emeritus, Universidad de Costa RicaMicol Savia, Permanent Representative, UN Human Rights Council, International Association of Democratic LawyersFabio Marcelli, Italian Association of Democratic Jurists; Bureau member, International Association of Democratic LawyersMartha L. Schmidt, National Lawyers Guild International Committee, past Chair of World Peace Through Law Section, Washington State Bar AssociationGianfranco Fattorini, Main Representative at the UN-Geneva, Asociación Americana de JuristasYifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADREMichael Deutsch, People's Law OfficeMaria Mari, Periódico ClaridadPeter Haberfeld, National Lawyers GuildPasquale Lombardo, National Lawyers GuildGary Hicks, National Lawyers GuildPeter Berkowitz, National Lawyers GuildBill Montross, National Lawyers GuildJanine L. Hoft, Partner, People's Law OfficeMark Stern, National Lawyers Guild International CommitteeAndrew Reid, National Lawyers GuildChris Ford, Attorney at LawMarcelo Chalreo, Asociación Americana de JuristasCharlotte Phillips, M.D., Chairperson, Brooklyn for PeaceDavid L. Mandel, National Lawyers Guild, International CommitteeBeth Lyons, International Association of Democratic LawyersRobert G.S. Hartzer, National Lawyers GuildPhilip Fornaci, attorneyNatalie H. Rees, National Lawyers GuildWilliam H. Emmons, attorney, Emmons & Puckett, PLLCJennifer McCoy, National Lawyers GuildRev. George E. Blair III, Attorney at lawFrederick A. Anderson, investigator, Anderson LawMike Todd, Co-Coordinator, UVGEARDeborah C. Anderson, Attorney, Anderson LawClare Hanusz, Attorney, Aloha ImmigrationJohn Spitzberg, Veterans for PeaceTerry J. Lodge, National Lawyers GuildStephen Laudig, National Lawyers GuildLuna Martinez, National Lawyers Guild International Committee LuAnne Kozma, National Lawyers GuildSteven Gilmore, Attorney, Simpson & Gilmore, PLLCLauren I. Freidenberg, civil rights litigatorJohn Upton, National Lawyers GuildCameron Green, AttorneyRobert D. Skeels, People's College of LawShannah Kurlan, Attorney at LawJames Squire, MD, Physicians for a National Health ProgramTed Hamilton, Attorney, Climate Defense ProjectSoffiyah Elijah, AttorneyMatt Clark, National Lawyers GuildJames Marc Leas, National Lawyers GuildChristian L. Torp, attorneyChet Lexvold, National Lawyers Guild and Democratic Socialists of AmericaRiva Enteen, National Lawyers GuildTyler Zaremba, National Lawyers Guild, Sarah Parker, AttorneyCollin Poirot, National Lawyers GuildNickolas Kaplan, National Lawyers GuildRanojoy Guha, National Lawyers GuildMary Elieisar, National Lawyers GuildMari Inoue, National Lawyers GuildMelinda Power, Attorney, West Town Law OfficeTed Pearson, Co-Chair, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political RepressionOsha Neumann, Attorney, East Bay Community Law CenterHaley M Pollock, National Lawyers GuildIsabelle Gunning, Attorney and Law ProfessorGilbert Saucedo, National Lawyers GuildWilliam G. Iannaccone, National Lawyers GuildSaurav Sarkar, assistant editorDawn Whitney, National Lawyers GuildCarol Watson, National Lawyers GuildConstance Norgren, Brooklyn for PeaceJoshua Carrin, AttorneyThom C. Donnelly, Pile Drivers Local UnionTyler Zaremba, National Lawyers GuildMargaret S. Kuzee, school nurseJulie Levine, National Lawyers Guild Legal ObserverJez Nguyen, National Lawyers GuildJennifer M. Rellick, National Lawyers GuildJon Sternberg, Bay Area National Lawyers GuildElizabeth Erlich, National Lawyers GuildJean Ross, AttorneyMark Schuller, Associate ProfessorAndra N. Oakes, AttorneyEileen Weitzman, National Lawyers GuildKay H. Brown, National Lawyers GuildEugene Weizel, retired Child Protective ServicesVal Merlina, Pittsburgh Chapter, National Lawyers GuildPeter Korman, National Lawyers GuildJan Susler, AttorneyNancy Hormachea, National Lawyers GuildDaniel Ress, National Lawyers GuildAnn F. O'Berry, Past Regional Vice President, National Lawyers GuildGary Fitzgerald, AttorneyLanlan Hoo, West Suburban Faith Based Peace CoalitionVirginia Feldman, Social Justice CoalitionHugo Chiabes, Cuartel de la MontañaJohn Weber, Professor EmeritusArthur Jackson, Humanist Community in San JoseNicolas McKee, Immigration program specialistSonja Rajkovich, AttorneyFrank Goetz, West Suburban Faith Based Peace CoalitionThuy Anh Tran, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, PSC-CUNY, Baruch CollegeDeborah Hope, AttorneySuzanne Myron, AttorneyR. Lawrence Tripp, Los Angeles County Public DefenderBruce Scotton, MD, Clinical ProfessorYasmeen Majid, Treasurer, BPPCCMelia Cerrato, National Lawyers GuildLeslie Weilbaum, retired attorneyGary Casselman, AttorneyCarolina Cositore Sitrin, G.A.L. for 12th Circuit Court SarasotaJason Pfetcher, AttorneyDavid McAleer, AttorneyTobey M. Wiebe, Grandmothers Against WarEmily Yo, AttorneySarah Mills, AttorneyDiana Bohn, Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Center for Community ActionTrisha Meija, Law studentCarol I. Moeller Costa, Task Force on the AmericasRoger Stoll, AttorneyThomas Patrick Lynch, National Lawyers GuildPeter Costanza, National Lawyers GuildAnn Fawcett Ambia, National Lawyers GuildStansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA SolidarityPhil Goldsmith, Retired attorneyGarrett Wright, AttorneyGabriel Montero, steering committee member, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political RepressionEdward Goldman, Fort Greene PeaceAnne Kaufman, National Lawyers GuildMary Buchwald, Brooklyn for PeaceTheresa Cameranesi, Marin Interfaith Task ForceRichard Blum, AttorneyCarlos Orjuela, Haldane Society of Socialist LawyersBruce Plenk, AttorneyRobert Lesko, UCATS, Local 3882, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIOGeorgia Guida, Brooklyn for PeaceMichael Smalz, AttorneyKathleen M. Johnson, Attorney, National Lawyers GuildSam Koprak, Brooklyn for PeaceStan Woods, former executive board member, ILWU #6Stanley Kaster, Brooklyn Progressive ActionAlan Essner, Brooklyn for PeaceNeil Berman, National Lawyers GuildAntonia N. Loconte, AttorneyC. T. Weber, Legislative Committee Chair, Peace and Freedom PartyDavid Landry, Orange County Peace and Freedom PartyMichael Endick, National Lawyers GuildPaul Ross, National Lawyers GuildMartin Almada, AttorneyJoanne Kostofsky, retired attorneyIra Jacobowitz, California administrative law judgeBrady Mabe, law studentMatthew Erard, National Lawyers GuildPhilip Jaros, National Lawyers GuildArnold Kawano, National Lawyers GuildSusanne Griffin, National Lawyers GuildMohammed Suhail, Law studentKevin O'Donnell, AttorneyChris Lopez, Coordinator, School of the Americas Watch East Bay CaliforniaDonna Goodman, ANSWER CoalitionAdrianne Aron, School ofthe Americas WatchFernando Mercado, host of E Pluribus UnumRyan CarmichaelBarbara UptonJames KislingburyKenyatta Yamel, independent progressiveRobert Toon, MD, US Army, Retired, VA, RetiredDevin BakerMaytal Bach, studentPrashanth MundkurSherryl BeamonSusan EpsteinTomas GaytonP. HoganAlan BattenLarry LimaDonald Goldhammer, civil liberties advocateVictoria McFayenBlair SandlerGlen Janken, teacherEdward BriodyBarbara VanhornGeorge LaudadioJim SimonsVal SanfilippoMary CiccoJoan PhillipsRosie HinnebuschRobert F. MannJoel IsaacsonZach FitznerKate PerinoMarina ShpirtSylvia SchwarzToni MayerTracy McLellanBenjamin EvansMike PenkaJan WeberJulie RubenJohn OtaPeter BelmontEnzo Bard, PhDMark E. SmithPeter SzafranHenry RodriguezCatherine M StanfordCameron BishopBeverly SlapinJim NewmanBrian HaydenMark DempseyPatricia SilverGail LelyveldAnn SprayregenSean DalyKevin LindemannReagan CooperNancy Greenwald AlvarezRyan Gregory UsherDaniel F. DowningJules MermelsteinCathy RossiBrad GaymanJacob Novak