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ABYA YALA / The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change
A call by over 70 committed intellectuals
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 27/01/2019
Translations available: Español  Deutsch  Français 

The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change
A call by over 70 committed intellectuals

Various Authors - Autores varios - Auteurs divers- AAVV-d.a.


Noam Chomsky, Alfred de Zayas, Sujatha Fernandes, Boots Riley, John Pilger, Vijay Prashad and many others oppose US interventionism in Venezuela. The statement is worth the read.

Rally against Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

The United States government must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government. Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability.

Venezuela’s political polarization is not new; the country has long been divided along racial and socioeconomic lines. But the polarization has deepened in recent years. This is partly due to US support for an opposition strategy aimed at removing the government of Nicolás Maduro through extra-electoral means. While the opposition has been divided on this strategy, US support has backed hardline opposition sectors in their goal of ousting the Maduro government through often violent protests, a military coup d’etat, or other avenues that sidestep the ballot box.

Under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has ratcheted up to a more extreme and threatening level, with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.” Problems resulting from Venezuelan government policy have been worsened  by US economic sanctions, illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations ― as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions. These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines. Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.

Now the US and its allies, including OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed Venezuela to the precipice. By recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela ― something illegal under the OAS Charter ― the Trump administration has sharply accelerated Venezuela’s political crisis in the hopes of dividing the Venezuelan military and further polarizing the populace, forcing them to choose sides. The obvious, and sometimes stated goal, is to force Maduro out via a coup d’etat.

The reality is that despite hyperinflation, shortages, and a deep depression, Venezuela remains a politically polarized country. The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change. If the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability. The US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America.

Neither side in Venezuela can simply vanquish the other. The military, for example, has at least 235,000 frontline members, and there are at least 1.6 million in militias. Many of these people will fight, not only on the basis of a belief in national sovereignty that is widely held in Latin America ― in the face of what increasingly appears to be a US-led intervention ― but also to protect themselves from likely repression if the opposition topples the government by force.

In such situations, the only solution is a negotiated settlement, as has happened in the past in Latin American countries when politically polarized societies were unable to resolve their differences through elections. There have been efforts, such as those led by the Vatican in the fall of 2016, that had potential, but they received no support from Washington and its allies who favored regime change. This strategy must change if there is to be any viable solution to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

For the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty, these international actors should instead support negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents that will allow the country to finally emerge from its political and economic crisis.


  1. Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus, MIT and Laureate Professor, University of Arizona
  2. Laura Carlsen, Director, Americas Program, Center for International Policy
  3. Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University
  4. Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College
  5. Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Political Economy and Sociology, University of Sydney
  6. Steve Ellner, Associate Managing Editor of Latin American Perspectives
  7. Alfred de Zayas, former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order and only UN rapporteur to have visited Venezuela in 21 years
  8. Boots Riley, Writer/Director of Sorry to Bother You, Musician
  9. John Pilger, Journalist & Film-Maker
  10. Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
  11. Jared Abbott, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University
  12. Dr. Tim Anderson, Director, Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies
  13. Elisabeth Armstrong, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College
  14. Alexander Aviña, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University
  15. Marc Becker, Professor of History, Truman State University
  16. Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK
  17. Phyllis Bennis, Program Director, New Internationalism, Institute for Policy Studies
  18. Dr. Robert E. Birt, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University
  19. Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University
  20. James Cohen, University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle
  21. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, George Mason University
  22. Benjamin Dangl, PhD, Editor of Toward Freedom
  23. Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, UK
  24. Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Wesleyan University
  25. Jodie Evans, Cofounder, CODEPINK
  26. Vanessa Freije, Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of Washington
  27. Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in International Development Studies, St. Mary’s University
  28. Evelyn Gonzalez, Counselor, Montgomery College
  29. Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University
  30. Bret Gustafson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
  31. Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University
  32. John L. Hammond, Professor of Sociology, CUNY
  33. Mark Healey, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut
  34. Gabriel Hetland, Assistant Professor of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies, University of Albany
  35. Forrest Hylton, Associate Professor of History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Medellín
  36. Daniel James, Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History
  37. Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
  38. Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
  39. Winnie Lem, Professor, International Development Studies, Trent University
  40. Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas, Professor-Researcher, National University of Anthropology and History, Morelos, Mexico
  41. Mary Ann Mahony, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University
  42. Jorge Mancini, Vice President, Foundation for Latin American Integration (FILA)
  43. Luís Martin-Cabrera, Associate Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, University of California San Diego
  44. Teresa A. Meade, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture, Union College
  45. Frederick Mills, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University
  46. Stephen Morris, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Middle Tennessee State University
  47. Liisa L. North, Professor Emeritus, York University
  48. Paul Ortiz, Associate Professor of History, University of Florida
  49. Christian Parenti, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, John Jay College CUNY
  50. Nicole Phillips, Law Professor at the Université de la Fondation Dr. Aristide Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques and  Adjunct Law Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law
  51. Beatrice Pita, Lecturer, Department of Literature, University of California San Diego
  52. Margaret Power, Professor of History, Illinois Institute of Technology
  53. Vijay Prashad, Editor, The TriContinental
  54. Eleanora Quijada Cervoni FHEA, Staff Education Facilitator & EFS Mentor, Centre for Higher Education, Learning & Teaching at The Australian National University
  55. Walter Riley, Attorney and Activist
  56. William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  57. Mary Roldan, Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History, Hunter College/ CUNY Graduate Center
  58. Karin Rosemblatt, Professor of History, University of Maryland
  59. Emir Sader, Professor of Sociology, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro
  60. Rosaura Sanchez, Professor of Latin American Literature and Chicano Literature, University of California, San Diego
  61. T.M. Scruggs Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa
  62. Victor Silverman, Professor of History, Pomona College
  63. Brad Simpson, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut
  64. Jeb Sprague, Lecturer, University of Virginia
  65. Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University
  66. Sinclair S. Thomson, Associate Professor of History, New York University
  67. Steven Topik, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine
  68. Stephen Volk, Professor of History Emeritus, Oberlin College
  69. Kirsten Weld, John. L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of History, Harvard University
  70. Kevin Young, Assistant Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  71. Patricio Zamorano, Academic of Latin American Studies; Executive Director, InfoAmericas


Courtesy of Venezuelanalysis
Publication date of original article: 24/01/2019
URL of this page :


Tags: Bolivarian RevolutionCounter-revolutionGuaidóUS ImperialismVenezuelaAbya YalaUS Interfences

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