February 8, 2019

Word: Venezuela

Institute for Public Accuracy -  Alfred de Zayas was the first UN rapporteur (independent expert) to visit and report from Venezuela in 21 years. His piece: “As a former UN special rapporteur, the coup in Venezuela reminds me of the rush to war in Iraq” was just published by the British Independent.

He writes: “There is nothing more undemocratic and corrosive to the rule of law than a coup d’état. Members of the United Nations are bound by the Charter, articles one and two of which affirm the right of all peoples to determine themselves, the sovereign equality of states, the prohibition of the use of force and of economic or political interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Yet these fundamental principles of international order are being grossly violated in the case of Venezuela.

“The international community witnessed a revolt against the UN Charter when in 2003 the United States together with the ‘coalition of the willing’ decided to invade Iraq, a war which the late secretary general Kofi Annan described as illegal. This massive act of aggression was probably the most serious violation of the Nuremberg Principles since the Second World War. What shocks the conscience is not that the United States would place itself above international law, but that it dragged 42 countries into this destructive looting campaign. The war was preceded by an ocean of fake news and disinformation, intended to make the aggression more palatable to world public opinion. War crimes and crimes against humanity were committed for which no political leader has been held accountable. One may ask, is the International Criminal Court credible, when it has thus far only focused on African politicians, and has failed to investigate or indict leaders of powerful countries, who have hitherto enjoyed total impunity?

“In 2011 another oil-rich state was devastated, Libya, with the aggression similarly preceded by systematic governmental and media disinformation. Today’s crisis in Venezuela has much in common with the prior aggression against the two other oil-producing countries."

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