For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Medea Benjamin | CODEPINK co-founder | | 415 235 6517

Ariel Gold | CODEPINK national co-director | | 510 599 5330

Activists Arrested During Elliot Abrams Testimony in Congressional Hearing on Venezuela

WASHINGTON - A group of CODEPINK activists, Ariel Gold, Caroline Debnam and Kei Pritsker, protested today during testimony by  U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The group spoke out against the US-orchestrated coup underway currently in Venezuela, against Elliot Abrams as a witness at the hearhing, and against the possibility of war and US military intervention.

CODEPINK national co-director Ariel Gold was the first to get arrested. Standing on a chair in the hearing room, she stated to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “Don’t listen to Abrams. We must not go down a path to war. We need you to push for negotiations, not a US-orchestrated coup. No coup in Venezuela.”


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Caroline Debnam said after her arrested, “Setting up a parallel government with Juan Guaido is illegal, irresponsible and sets Venezuela on a path toward civil war. Instead of exacerbating the tensions, the US should be supporting with efforts of Mexico, Venezuela and the Vatican to mediate the crisis.”

Kei Pritsker said, “Look at the history of Eliot Abrams throughout Central America and the Middle East, creating wars, chaos and mayhem on behalf of US corporations. He should be tried for war crimes, not testifying in the US Congress.”


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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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