Over 150 labor, religious, academic and civil society leaders in the US and Canada called on Washington and Ottawa to remove “illegal” sanctions against Venezuela and to “support efforts at mediation between the government of Venezuela and the nonviolent segments of the political opposition.
Social critics Professor Noam Chomsky and actor Danny Glover headed the distinguished list of 154 individual and organizational signers on the open letter to foreign policy decision-makers in the United States and Canadian governments.
The open letter denounces “The US-Canadian sanctions represent a cynical use of coercive economic power to attack a nation that is already dealing with hyperinflation and shortages of basic commodities. While said to be in the name of advancing democracy and freedom, the sanctions violate the Venezuelan peoples’ basic human right to sovereignty, as outlined in the UN and OAS Charters.”
Chuck Kaufman, national co-coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice, which solicited signatures for the letter, said, “The US and Canada have been trying to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela for almost 20 years. That is not legal and it is not good for Venezuelans or North Americans. These cruel sanctions don’t hurt the government, they hurt Venezuelans, and those they hurt most are the poorest. It is time to stop.”
Twenty-four Canadians joined 132 US and two Mexican individuals and organizations joined together to call “call on the political leaders of the United States and Canada to reject overheated rhetoric and to contribute to the search for real solutions to Venezuela’s political and economic problems. We urge the US and Canadian governments to rescind their sanctions and support the mediation efforts.”
Raul Burbano, of the Canadian organization, Common Frontiers, said, “Canada continues to undermine democracy and dialogue in Venezuela. Rather than support peace building efforts, the Trudeau government is contributing to the crisis by taking a lead role in the Lima Group, and aligning with countries that violate democratic norms in their own countries such as Honduras and Brazil. This is a worrisome trend.”