The board of transform! europe launches an appeal for a peaceful solution of the political crisis in Venezuela.[*]
The United States government must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government. The EU must not allow itself to be dragged behind the initiatives of the US. Under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has ratcheted up to a more extreme and threatening level, even implying the possibility of “military action”. Problems resulting from Venezuelan government policy have been worsened by US economic sanctions, illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations ― as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions. These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines.
Now the US and its allies, including Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed Venezuela to the precipice. By recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela the Trump administration has sharply accelerated Venezuela’s political crisis in the hopes of dividing the Venezuelan military and further polarizing the populace, forcing them to choose sides. The obvious, and sometimes stated goal, is to force Maduro out via a coup d’état.
Neither side in Venezuela can simply vanquish the other. In such situations, the only solution is a negotiated settlement, as has happened in the past in Latin American countries when politically polarized societies were unable to resolve their differences through elections. For the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty the European Union, its member states and the majority of the European Parliament should instead of interfering in the domestic affairs of Venezuela and taking a one-sided position support negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents that will allow the country to finally emerge from its political and economic crisis.
Walter BAIER, transform!at and Political Coordinator transform! europe (Austria)
Marga FERRÉ, Europe of Citizens Foundation / Fundación por la Europa de los Ciudadanos (FEC) (Spain)
Haris GOLEMIS, Scientific & Strategic Advisor transform! europe (Greece)
Cornelia HILDEBRANDT, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Germany)
Danai KOLTSIDA, Nikos Poulantzas Institute (Greece)
Yann LE LANN, Espaces Marx (France)
Jiri MALEK, The Society for European Dialogue (SPED) (Czech Republic)
Hugo MONTEIRO, cul:tra (Portugal)
Roberto MOREA, transform!italia (Italy)
Jukka PIETILÄINEN, Left Forum (Finland)
[*] The text is inspired by the 'Open Letter by Over 70 Scholars and Experts Condemning US-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela' which was published on 24 January at Common Dreams, republished at the Website of transform! europe;