Failed Coup in Venezuela Intensifies Battle at Embassy in Washington

Juan Guaido’s coup attempt failed.

The United States is re-tooling.

Yet a battle rages at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., where activists living inside at the invitation of the Maduro government have been under siege. They have been assaulted by blaring bullhorns, sirens, strobe lights, and a violent opposition that has been drilling holes into the building and attempting to knock down the embassy door. The opposition also reared its racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQIA+ head, with its members spewing slurs at activists and journalists, and stalking a journalist.

All this while the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department have looked away and arrested more embassy activists than opposition members.

Opposition members who support Guaido first held a rally in front of the embassy on April 30, the day Guaido’s failed coup took place outside an air base in Venezuela. But Guaido’s fake ambassador, Carlos Vecchio, who claimed he was taking over the embassy that day, was driven away by activists who drowned out his words with their speaker system.

Since then, the opposition has dwindled, but remains combative.

Yesterday, Black Alliance for Peace member organizations such as Friends of the Congo and Pan-African Community Action stood in solidarity with the Embassy Protection Collective and against the U.S. intervention in Venezuela. As African/Black internationalists, we stand with the colonized peoples of the world. We also condemn the Trump administration’s attempt at a coup. Read our official statement.

As you see below, Paul Pumphrey, co-founder of Friends of the Congo, was assaulted with the blare of a megaphone. Fortunately, he was wearing earplugs.

Our folks have shown up regularly to support what has developed into another battlefield in the struggle against the U.S. attempt at a coup in Venezuela, and the larger struggle against U.S. imperialism. The opposition, dressed in polo shirts and dresses, looked like they were ready for Saturday brunch instead of a protest. The opposition appears to be well-funded, as a truck has been noticed dropping off a speaker system and other items. The opposition’s members don’t even seem interested in the opposition’s political position as they sway their hips to the revolutionary beats emanating from the embassy’s speakers. Activists inside the embassy say opposition numbers have dwindled, having dropped from a peak of 100 oppositionists on Tuesday to about 20 yesterday. A person on Twitter found out where some of these opposition members work and surprise: Current and former employers include the World Bank, Raytheon and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All are involved in the exploitation and destruction of the Global South.

In Colombia, our allies, Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), had a close call yesterday. Armed men launched an attack on PCN’s leadership while they held a meeting. The perpetrators fired automatic weapons and a grenade was thrown. Goldman Environmental Prize-winning grassroots activist Francia Márquez’s guard returned fire, driving the perpetrators off. The leadership was unharmed. Two of the guards sustained minor wounds. Colombia has taken a sharp turn to the right with the support of the United States. Last month, its president changed his mind and turned around when he was only 200 meters away from signing a peace agreement with the most marginalized people. Meanwhile, Indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians remain under siege in their territories. PCN represents the most sophisticated African/Black organization in South America. We must connect this attack to the struggle of Afro-Venezuelans, who are in the cross-hairs of repression at the hands of U.S. and European capital and their local class collaborators.

Back in the United States, BAP members have appeared in the press this week. Margaret Kimberley, a BAP Coordinating Committee member, told TeleSUR English the U.S.-backed fascist coup in Venezuela has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of the Congo, discussed U.S. priorities on the continent of our ancestors on RT after a new report uncovered 36 code-named U.S. military operations in Africa. Margaret also wrote a piece in Black Agenda Report about how the United States has crippled Venezuela.

BAP members Vanessa Beck, Erica Caines and Glen Ford, and Rebecca Bonhomme of Pan-African Community Action, will speak on panels Saturday at the Ujima People’s Progress Party’s 2019 statewide conference in Baltimore, Maryland.


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