Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Photo: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza discusses the country's crisis with Democracy Now! hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (screenshot). 

"You Can Stop This" — Venezuela's Message to Americans

The country's Foreign Minister told Democracy Now! Monday that U.S. intervention can be stopped at the root.

Eoin Higgins

The American people can stop a war on Venezuela, that country's foreign minister told Democracy Now! on Monday.

"I believe that the American people and the American institutions can stop this from happening, this insane proposal of invading Venezuela," Jorge Arreaza told Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales during an interview. "And this is the right time to do it."

Americans should look carefully at what their country is doing, Arreaza said, especially around shipments of so-called "humanitarian aid."  Joining other foreign policy experts, journalist and media critic Adam Johnson called the aid "bogus" in a column last week:

The current "something" in Venezuela we’re all compelled to "do" is ensure the arrival of a humanitarian aid convoy. The fact that the bulk of the international aid community has either distanced itself from this PR stunt or outright opposes it has been widely ignored by the mainstream media.

Nevertheless, the U.S. has been trying to force convoys ostensibly containing aid into Venezuela from the Colombian border for over a week, leading to clashes over the weekend.

"What we saw last Saturday in the border, in both borders, with Colombia and Brazil, this was a spectacle," said Arreaza. "It was a show."

If it's a show, it's working. U.S. politicians are almost uniform in their support of the aid convoy and their denunciations of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing a soft coup from U.S. backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the de facto left wing standard bearer in the Democratic Party, has come out in support of the aid convoy — though he's been somewhat critical of regime change in Venezuela in principle.

As a number of progressives quickly pointed out, trusting humanitarian aid from the U.S. is a risky proposition at best for Latin American countries; all the more so when it comes from the Trump administration's Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams,  former Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs during the Reagan administration who used humanitarian aid to smuggle arms to the Contras in Nicaragua.

Abrams is part of an unofficial triumvirate in charge of Venezuelan policy for the administration, alongside Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Arreaza had harsh words for the latter, calling Pence "the real boss of the Group of the Lima, the Lima Group," a coalition of American states brought together to end the Venezuelan crisis that's been described as "advocating for regime change" by critics. Bolton, Arreaza said, is "like a gangster," though the minister wryly expressed some appreciation for Bolton’s honesty. "He has said something that is truth: All of this is about oil."

Any U.S. intervention will only lead to pain for the Venezuelan people, said Arreaza, and that’s what Americans should focus on.

"Bombs will not differentiate who is Chavista and who is not Chavista," warned Arrazea.

Watch the full interview:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

With Amazon Accused of Cheating, NLRB Official Says Workers Should Get Another Union Vote

"Amazon cheated, they got caught, and they are being held accountable," said the head of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.

Jake Johnson ·

Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer Told 'Stop Playing the Blame Game' and Extend Eviction Moratorium

"Who are the adults in the room?" asked the Sunrise Movement's advocacy director. "Do whatever it takes to extend the eviction moratorium and end this eviction emergency."

Jessica Corbett ·

Report Outlines 'Crucial' Need for Biden Administration to Aid Climate Refugees

"Ready solutions are available to address root causes and displacement that are centered in human rights and humanitarian protection."

Brett Wilkins ·

Hundreds Arrested in DC Demanding Voting Rights, End to Poverty, and Death of Filibuster

Clergy and low-wage workers with the Poor People's Campaign are also calling on Congress to treat the nation's immigrants with respect.

Jessica Corbett ·

'He Should Resign': Women's Rights Group Denounces Violent Misogyny of Kevin McCarthy

"With Kevin McCarthy voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, it is clear that his comments are reflective of his deeply held beliefs about how women should be treated."

Brett Wilkins ·