MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky; co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Mark Weisbrot; and 68 other scholars published an Open Letter Thursday demanding that the United States Government back off Venezuela.
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“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,” the Open Letter states.
The concerned intellectuals further explained that U.S. strategy against President Nicolas Maduro could easily unleash violent actions, which would most likely enhance polarization among Venezuelan political actors.
“The polarization has deepened in recent years. This is partly due to U.S. support for an opposition strategy aimed at removing the government of Nicolas Maduro through extra-electoral means... 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.”
Besides stating that President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela have worsened the country’s hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, a falloff in oil production, and economic recession, the Open Letter criticizes international actors who keep on supporting the U.S. coup attempt, an action which would likely result in bloodshed, chaos and instability.
“Now the U.S. and its allies, including (Organization of American States ) 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.”
To conclude, the Open Letter asks that the international community support negotiations between the Venezuelan Government and its opponents with the aim to find viable solutions to the country’s current political and economic problems.
“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... 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.”
The call is made "for the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty," the Open Letter reads.