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News > Venezuela

Former UN Expert Zayas: US-led Coup in Venezuela Violates International Law

  • Former U.N. expert Alfred de Zayas denounced U.S. coup in Venezuela as illegal.

    Former U.N. expert Alfred de Zayas denounced U.S. coup in Venezuela as illegal. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 January 2019

Former U.N. expert Alfred de Zayas said in an interview that the U.S. attempted coup in Venezuela is against international laws. 

Alfred de Zayas, a former United Nations expert who visited Venezuela in 2017 as a U.N. representative, said that the United States is conducting an illegal coup in the country which is against international laws.


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“It is an attempted coup d’état. Now, we all believe in democracy… Now, there’s nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état, and also boycotting elections,” Zayas commented.

“The mainstream media has been complicit in this attempted coup. … This reminds us of the run-up to the Iraq invasion of 2003,” the U.N. expert told Democracy Now.

In an unconstitutional act, Juan Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, a body that has no legal authority since it is considered to be in judicial contempt, swore himself in as president Wednesday morning.

After this event, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the illegal self-proclaimed president. The same was done by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, who has instigated attacks against Venezuela and his government.

Following the U.S.' lead, several Latin American countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador recognized the usurper as the president.

Maduro, in response to the U.S., broke all diplomatic and political relations with the Donald Trump government and gave U.S. officials 72 hours to leave the country.

When Zayas visited Venezuela as a rapporteur, he told the opposition members that “you simply cannot topple the government, and Maduro is not simply going to roll over. I mean, there are 7, 8, 9 million Venezuelans who are committed Chavistas, and you have to take them into account. What are you going to do with them if you topple the government through a coup d’état?”

The U.N. expert also took a dig at the mainstream media who through fake news made the people believe that the U.S. intervention in Venezuela is good for the people of the country. He denounced the media campaign against the South American country which has been termed to have a humanitarian crisis. “And, of course, there was no humanitarian crisis,” said Zayas.

He also compared the current situation with Chile’s Salvador Allende. An economic war was waged against Allende for three years. When the economic war was not successful in ousting Allende, a coup d’état by General Augusto Pinochet toppled Allende’s regime bringing 17 years of dictatorship.  

“If the opposition really considers itself democratic, it has to play the democratic game, and it has to participate in the elections. They have chosen to boycott the elections over the last years,” he commented.

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