Venezuelan DC Embassy Protectors v. Police State America


Venezuelan DC Embassy Protectors v. Police State America

by Stephen Lendman

What’s going on inside and outside Venezuela’s DC embassy is a symbolic struggle for the country’s sovereign rights — to preserve and protect its soul.

Embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic facilities in host countries are sovereign territory of nations operating them.

UN Charter Article 2(4) states: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations” – what the US does repeatedly.

Article 22(1) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states:

“The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.”

Article 22(3) states: “The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.”

Article 29 adds: “The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention.” 

“The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.”

Article 30 grants the same inviolability and protection to a diplomat’s private residence, his or her papers, correspondence, and property.

Trump regime ordered actions outside Venezuela’s DC embassy are likely prelude to forcefully taking over the facility, removing its defenders and skeleton Bolivarian staff inside, likely arresting them, falsely claiming they’re intruders — an extrajudicial act if turns out this way as expected.

What’s going on is how all police states operate. The US operates extrajudicially at home and abroad worldwide. It’s an unparalleled menace to everyone everywhere.

About 50 activists are inside Venezuela’s DC embassy, protecting it since mid-April, including CodePink and Answer Coalition members.

On May Day, Answer reported the following, saying: “Everyday we are able to stay in the embassy is a victory. We had an incredible win today in defense of peace and against the Trump administration's illegal coup efforts.” 

White House secret service, DC police, and pro-coup supporters surrounded the embassy on May 1.

Imposter Guaido’s representative to the Trump regime Carlos Vecchio publicly said the embassy would be seized.

“Instead, (he) was forced to make a quick exit from the scene in front of the embassy after he pathetically gave a speech out front but couldn't enter,” Answer explained, adding: 

“A member of his entourage announced that at some point they hoped to be in the embassy as they would be initiating some undefined legal process to do so.” 

“But the plans to seize the embassy just as the other diplomatic properties have been seized — the plans to raid and arrest peace activists present at the invitation of the Venezuelan government and hand the embassy to the fake ambassador — have so far failed.”

Partnership for Civil Justice Fund executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard sent a letter to secret service head Randolph Alles, his deputy William Callahan, and DC police chief Peter Newsham, the full text below, saying:

“By this letter we are writing to place you on formal and legal notice of unconstitutional conduct on the part of officers deployed to the diplomatic mission of the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington, D.C.” 

“Your officers are acting as aiders, abettors, encouragers, and joint tort-feasors in the assaultive, menacing, threatening and at times violent conduct against the lawfully present peace activists at the Embassy by a mob of right wing thugs.”

“It is incumbent upon you to cause the cessation of this conduct or it will be understood that this is an extension of police policy, practice or procedure that is endorsed organizationally.” 

“We would anticipate formal legal action under 42 USC § 1983, Bivens, and any other applicable civil rights laws, absent immediate cessation.”

“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.”

“Yesterday, instead of enforcing the law, officers present refused to take action against persons engaging in unlawful actions against the mission and against other persons who are lawfully present.”

“The persons lawfully present inside the building are U.S. peace activists, there as guests at the invitation of the mission staff and of the lawful owners of the premises, and have been defending and upholding the Vienna Convention and international law.”

“Persons present, some for weeks, have also established legal tenancy rights, have been using meeting areas for educational and cultural events, and under the laws of the District of Columbia may not be evicted without due process.”

Separately, CodePink reported the following:

On May 2, three activists attempting to deliver food and medicines to embassy occupants were accosted, denied entry, and arrested by secret service agents.

CodePink later tweeted that supplies were allowed in, a likely temporary reprieve ahead of further unconstitutional Trump regime actions.

According to Sputnik News, “(f)ollowing Thursday's arrests, law enforcement officers at the scene erected metal barriers in front of the embassy” to block its entrance. Both front and rear entrances are blocked.

Since May 1, pro-and-anti-Bolivarian sovereign rights individuals clashed outside the DC embassy. Guaido supporters mostly screamed, insulted, and jostled supporters of embassy protectors inside the facility.

CodePink activists tried to hold a press conference by bullhorn from an embassy window. Likely Trump regime enlisted Guaido supporters drowned out their message with sirens and their own bullhorns.

The standoff continues on Friday — for how much longer before Trump regime hardliners order the embassy forcefully seized remains to be seen.

The struggle for Venezuela’s soul continues. At stake is freedom or fascism, social justice or neoliberal harshness, Bolivarian sovereign independence or transformation into a US colony — the nation’s resources looted, its people exploited, impoverished, and repressed.

US-style democracy is tolerating it nowhere, especially not at home, what police state America is all about — what bipartisan hardliners in Washington want instituted everywhere.

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