In response to the US led campaign to further destabilise Venezuela, an Open Letter was issued on Thursday, January 24, 2019. It has been signed by 70 scholars on Latin America, political science, and history as well as filmmakers, civil society leaders, and other experts.
The Open Letter notes that under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has increased with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.”
US economic sanctions, designed to dramatically reduce oil production and worsen the economic crisis, are illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions.
The Open Letter urges the US and its allies to stop agitating for violent, extra-legal regime change in Venezuela. It states that if “the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability.” It also points out that “the US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America.”
Similar concerns have also been expressed by Venezuelan opposition economist Francisco Rodríguez. Writing in Foreign Policy, he argues that harsh US sanctions that starve the Venezuelan economy of its foreign currency earnings “risks turning the country’s current humanitarian crisis into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.” He also argues that military intervention by the United States “to replace a constitutionally elected president with an unconstitutionally appointed one would be an even worse violation of Venezuelan law than anything that the Chávez and Maduro regimes have ever been accused of.”
The Open Letter concludes by calling for negotiations between the Venezuelan government and contending parties that will allow the country to move towards a resolution of its political and economic crisis.
The Open Letter can be read here.