DC police arrested four members of the Embassy Protection Collective in the Venezuelan embassy today in Washington DC. Two of those arrested are members of my campaign team, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance and the Maryland Green Party.

The Collective has been staying in the embassy since April 10 at the invitation of the elected Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. Margaret and Kevin have been in the embassy the whole time.

They were protecting the embassy from takeover by the forces of the self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, who has called for the Venezuelan military to stage a coup on his behalf. The Trump administration, with the support of Democratic congressional leaders, has recognized Guaidó as Venezuela’s ruler.

The arrests of Margaret and Kevin and the other protectors violate the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The US invoked this Convention when Iranian militants occupied the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. The International Court of Justice ruled in the favor of the US and ordered Iran to pay reparations.

But the US pulled out of the International Court of Justice in 1986. Last year Trump denounced the Vienna Convention. And now, the Trump administration has gotten the police of Democratic-controlled city of Washington DC, to arrest these activists in violation of international diplomatic law.

The arrests show that the US is a rogue state. Violating the diplomatic immunity of the Venezuelan embassy takes the US back before the 1200s, when Genghis Khan’s Eurasian empire brought the notion of inviolable diplomatic immunity to a West that was riddled at the time with endemic warfare and banditry among the feuding feudal fiefdoms. Trump—and his Republican and Democratic minions alike—have taken us back nearly a millennium to the Dark Ages.

The charges are more serious than simple trespassing. The Washington Post reports the charges are “interfering with the State Department’s protective functions.”

We will keep you posted on developments and how to support Margaret and Kevin

Update: video after their release

Howie Hawkins 2020

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