A similar email was sent to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin and to Representatives Sarbanes and Hoyer. You will be informed if any of these members of Congress agree to challenge the State Department/Secret Service to end the mob violence at the Venezuela Embassy. Kagiso, Max
Dear Justin Brower & Tara Oursler,
We are seeking assistance from Representative Dutch Ruppersberger. For months now, we have been protesting the Trump Administration’s policy against Venezuela. As you know, “All options are on the table.” And in an April 1 conversation with Keith W. Mines, the State Department’s Director in the Office of Andean Affairs, confirmed this includes military action.
More recently, though, we have been involved in protecting the Venezuelan embassy from mob violence. We are seeking your assistance as the Secret Service and the D.C. Metropolitan Police are failing to perform their duties at the Venezuelan embassy. There is a mob of thugs harassing and threatening those of us who are trying to protect the embassy. One thug did get into the embassy and trashed an office. These thugs are blocking entrances, turning on sirens while we try to speak to members of the media and preventing food from getting inside to those who are protecting the embassy from violence. For example on Thursday, May 2, we brought to the attention of a D.C. police officer that one of the thugs stole our bread which we hoped to get inside to the people in the embassy. Our request was ignored, while two people trying to deliver the food were arrested by the police.
We are astonished by the police behavior, as we assumed the officers were there to protect the embassy and members of the Embassy Protection Collective which has received permission from the legitimate Venezuelan government to be there. Some people have been injured by mob members. I hope that a serious injury can be prevented. We have tried to engage in dialogue with these fanatics, but they are uninterested. Instead they demand that we leave. A third person from the Collective was arrested on Friday, May 3, and remained in jail as of today, May 6.
Justin, you indicated we should bring this matter up with the State Department. So we contacted Director Mines about police inaction to the mob violence, but this was his response on May 4:
“I am afraid in the current situation however, I need to insist that you all cease your occupation of the embassy and allow the legitimate guaido [sic] government to begin to conduct the essential services to venezuelan [sic] citizens that hundreds of individuals need. It is very unfair of your group to stop these essential services from taking place due to your illegal occupation of the embassy property. Whatever one might think about the dispute between the guaido [sic] and maduro [sic] regimes we should be able to agree that code pink [sic] has little claim to the property of the Venezuelan government. If you would depart the premises as the police have insisted the counter delonstrators [sic] would depart and there would be a peaceful end to the standoff.”
It is apparent that the State Department will not rein in the police who are allowing a mob of fanatics to threaten U.S. citizens in the nation’s capital. This violence continues even though lawyers have tried to engage the police in controlling the mob. The police response is to “talk to public affairs.” So we are appealing to Congressperson Ruppersberger to assist us in this critical situation.
One of the lawyers who has witnessed mob violence at the embassy is Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Esq., Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. She wrote this on behalf of the Embassy Protection Collective:
“This presence inside the embassy, as you know, is lawful, as the peace activists were invited inside the embassy by those lawfully in charge of the premises. There has been no action that has divested them of the right to be inside the embassy or lawful process that could authorize removal.”
We are hoping that you will contact the U.S. Secret Service and inform them to respect the Vienna Convention and ensure the safety of all those inside the embassy. Under the Vienna Convention, the United States is required to protect the Embassy and other property of foreign governments from being seized by unlawful forces. We would be available to discuss this matter over the phone or in person. We are hoping that members of Congress can convince the police departments to prevent more vigilante violence and to allow members of the Embassy Protection Collective to enter and depart from the embassy in peace and to allow food and other supplies to be taken inside. We look forward to your response.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska & Max Obuszewski
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs