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International Action Center
Founded by Ramsey Clark
5C – Solidarity Center – 55 West 17th Street – New York, N.Y. 10011
212-633-6646 – firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States government and its corporate media’s belligerent campaign against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its leaders must cease at once. Several incidents that occurred during the
session of the United Nations in New York City clearly expose the campaign’s escalation.
On Saturday, September 23, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, who was part of the delegation from Venezuela attending the UN meetings, was detained for 90 minutes in the JFK International Airport as he was ready to board a plane to return to his homeland. Charging that a code in his airplane ticket identified him as “almost a terrorist,” U.S. authorities held him. Mr. Maduro told CNN that he was confined to a small room and told to remove his clothes; he added that when he showed his diplomatic passport, the harassment increased. Then he was threatened, pushed and yelled at by immigration and police officials. He was also stripped of his travel documents.
Venezuelan General Consul in Chicago Martin Sanchez was also searched at LaGuardia airport. “After passing the X-ray control, they told me to open my bags. I showed them my diplomatic card, but they insisted on searching my hand baggage, because they thought it might contain a banned object. I wasn’t able to board my flight and had to wait three more hours for another plane.”
President Hugo Chavez’ personal physician and his chief of security had to remain aboard the plane that brought the delegation to the UN event since their visas were denied, therefore their legal entrance to the country was forbidden.
These incidents are clear violations of international law, the Vienna Convention and the obligation of the U.S. government, as the U.S. is the site where the headquarters of the UN is located.
The UN is supposed to be a neutral place where nations can debate in a safe environment, without external interference. The U.S. government has the obligation to protect and safeguard that environment and all the heads of state, representatives, diplomats and accompanying staff. The U.S. has failed to do this in this case.
This unreasonable hostility from the George W. Bush administration towards the Venezuelan leaders only validates the name “devil” by which President Chavez referred to U.S. President Bush during the Venezuelan president’s address in the UN.
The U.S. media and even some personalities have shown their hypocrisy by attacking President Chavez for using that word. But actions speak louder than words. Those personalities and the media circus gave little thought or consideration to the countless victims, among them many children and civilians, of Bush’s military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon in the name of “democracy”: the destruction of infrastructure, the loss of thousands of lives, the contamination of the world environment, the destabilization of the world through the “antiterrorist” military campaign and threats to countries like Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. They forget the crimes perpetrated against the victims of Katrina, many of who are still without housing or resources to rebuild their lives. Is it not reasonable that many would view the head of this administration as the personification of evil?
It is time to face the danger that the United States represents here and abroad in order to stop the destruction that otherwise will occur.
Teresa Gutierrez & Sara Flounders,
Chris Silvera, Chair
National Teamsters Black Caucus
Sec/Treas. Teamsters Local 808
Dr. James D. Cockcroft
Padre Luis Barrios, PhD
Iglesia San Romero de Las Américas
Judy Wicks Founder/President White Dog Enterprises, Inc.
Felipe C. Teixeira
Most Reverend OFSJC Bishop
St Francis of Assisi, CCA
Frantz Mendes, President
USW Local 8751
Boston School Bus Drivers
Writer, co-chair LGBT Caucus, National Writers Union/UAW
President UAW Local 2334, Detroit
Berta Joubert-Ceci, MD
Dorotea Manuela and Tony Vandermeer
Co-Chairs, Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee
Troops Out Now Coalition
Pepe Abola, ROSA 7053, Youth Group of Boston Rosa Parks Committee
Fight Imperialism Stand Together – FIST
People’s Video Network
Stop War On Iran
Iranian American Friendship Committee
Jesse Lakahi Hiawa
Asia Pacific Action
Women’s Fightback Network
Steve Gillis, Vice-President
USW Local 8751
Boston School Bus Drivers
Susan E. Davis, Delegate
National Writers Union
UAW Local 1981
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