U.S. peace activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, called on her government to end its meddling in the affairs in Venezuela on Thursday—and called on other nations in the region to respect Venezuela's sovereignty—as she interrupted remarks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting of the Organization for American States (OAS) in Washington, DC.
"Don't support the coup!" Benjamin declared, holding up a sign at the end of the council room. "A coup is not a democratic transition! Do not listen to Secretary Pompeo!"
As security guards forcibly removed her, she continued, "Do not support the coup! Do no support the coup in Venezuela!"
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 24, 2019
BREAKING: @medeabenjamin just disrupted @SecPompeo “Pompeo & OAS should not supporting coup on Venezuela. The US has long & sorted history of supporting coups in Latin America & they always turned out horrible for the people. Look at Guatemala 53’ Chili in 73’, Honduras today.” pic.twitter.com/euzV0T1cUG
— Ariel Gold אריאל (@ArielElyseGold) January 24, 2019
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Pompeo used his remarks to parrot the Trump administration's claim that the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who was reelected president in May of last year, is not the legitimate president of the country and called his government "morally bankrupt" and "undemocratic to the core."
Benjamin's fellow CodePink co-founder Jodie Evans, however, was having none of that:
— Jodie Evans (@MsJodieEvans) January 24, 2019
While the OAS has so far backed efforts to undermine Maduro, Laura Carlsen, who heads the Center for International Policy's Americas Project, wrote this week that the regional body has become a misguided machine seeking "regime change" in Venezuela while "abetting corruption and dictatorship" across Latin America.
Specifically criticizing Luis Almagro, the OAS Secretary General, Carlsen explained that "throughout his tenure, Almagro has acted against many of the basic principles and mandates of the organization and consistently represented U.S. interests above those of its neighbors, generally supporting allies and punishing adversaries of the U.S. government."