Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

A supporter of the government of Nicolás Maduro holds a sign against the U.S.-backed intervention in Venezuela during the summit to discuss diplomatic actions to address the Venezuelan crisis on February 7, 2019 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, UK and Sweden will be joining Bolivia, Costa Rica and Ecuador on the summit proposed by Mexico and Uruguay. (Photo: Santiago Mazzarovich/Getty Images)

Why We in Colombia and Elsewhere Reject US Intervention in Venezuela

An international communique from the leader of the Colombian Opposition concerning Venezuela

Gustavo Petro

Humanity is experiencing times characterized by change, instability and above all, fear. It’s experiencing a structural transition which, in the case of Latin America, is causing panic. Failing to understand that our society requires transformation, anachronistic forces currently governing us are engaged in desperate attempts to avoid the reforms our society demands thereby rendering it ever more fragile. In this regard, the apparent danger of a foreign military invasion of Venezuela would initiate an absurd war, impacting the entire region.

Most of the Colombian people, as victims of armed conflict for more than half a century, have no desire to open a new front of bellicosity, this time against a neighboring country, and oppose the current threats of armed confrontation. They are joined by politicians, intellectuals and social activists everywhere who have also raised their voices in opposition to the possibility of a war. While it is true that the United States-sponsored Lima Group and others support Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez’ aspirations in Venezuela, we Latin Americans are not by nature interventionists and the majority would not accept a war that ultimately primarily responds to United States, rather than Venezuelan interests.

"We must collectively oppose foreign intervention and invasion, not because we defend Mr. Maduro’s government but rather, because we defend the right to free and popular self-determination."

The current drums of war are a result of the political inability to understand events in progress, i.e., the emergence of a multipolar world where diversity reigns and colonialism, as a political practice, is finally being overcome. Such a world, based on international law and state sovereignty, is one we must protect by responding to the bellicose discourse of politicians leading peoples immersed in fear with proposals for dialogue and peace. Leaders in democracies should be subordinate to the will of their communities and thus it is the People who must exercise the historic role of building a new society. Because of that, heeding the example of the Latin American continent, one that for many generations has been subjected to internecine wars, all of us must raise our collective voices opposing regional and continental war.

We must collectively oppose war; in that we have to be inflexible. We must collectively oppose foreign intervention and invasion, not because we defend Mr. Maduro’s government but rather, because we defend the right to free and popular self-determination. In consequence, we are raising the banner of Peace, proposing coordinate anti-war marches both within the Americas and throughout the world. We believe that the only route to resolving the complex situation that prevails in Venezuela is through dialogue; dialogue from a perspective respectful of international law and human rights and prioritizing diplomacy as the means for restoring the serenity of the Venezuelan people. Only in such manner can tensions between political forces be reduced and the use of force avoided. In this regard we endorse the proposals by the Mexican and Uruguayan governments reflected in the Montevideo Mechanism whose goal is facilitation of a political agreement resolving the serious political, economic and social crises being experienced by Venezuela’s institutions and call on progressives everywhere to help us to avoid the barbarity of war. Together, let us assist humanity to reject fear, war and hatred.

"Together, let us assist humanity to reject fear, war and hatred.We invite progressive forces everywhere to march for peace, multilateralism and dialogue."

We invite progressive forces everywhere to march for peace, multilateralism and dialogue. Let us not permit anachronistic leaders to push us towards a war that would destroy our beloved Latin America, a continent which, from the heights of the Andes, like the condor, has sought to move skies, rivers and mountains in quest of a home where peace and justice prevail.

Signed,

Gustavo Petro
Bogotá, February 13, 2019

The undersigned—both individuals, organizations, and political parties—hereby join in the call by Gustavo Petro and Colombia Humana to avoid armed conflict and foreign intervention in Venezuela through dialogue and diplomacy reflecting the free, collective will of the Venezuelan People and respect for international law and the sovereignty and equality of all States:

Angela Maria Robledo (Congresswoman, Republic of Colombia; Vice President, Colombia Humana)

Hilda Carrera (International civic activist, political consultant and advisor)

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (Academic, writer, political analyst and civic activist)

Coordinación Socialista Latinoamericana (which includes):

  • PRD México
  • PRD Panamá
  • Partido Socialista de Ecuador
  • Partido Socialista de Perú
  • Nuevo Perú
  • Partido Socialista de Chile
  • Partido Socialista de Uruguay 
  • MAS Bolivia
  • Partido Revolucionario Febrerista de Paraguay
  • Partido Socialista Brasileño
  • Colombia Humana

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

Gustavo Petro

Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego is a politician, economist, former presidential candidate, and member of the national Senate. He previously served as mayor of Bogotá. Runner-up in the 2018 Colombian presidential elections , Petro—together with his vice-presidential partner, Angela Maria Robledo—is currently the leader of the opposition to the administration of the current president, Ivan Duque, considered by most to be a mere stand-in for former president Alvaro Uribe Velez.  Senator Petro, together with Congresswoman Robledo, is the leader of Colombia Humana, a large political movement that obtained more than eight million votes in the 2018 elections but which has been denied legal status as a political party by the current administration making it currently ineligible for formal electoral participation, all too similar to what detractors of Venezuela's current government are accused of doing.

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.

New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·


'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo