Australia must condemn United States sanctions and threats of military intervention in Venezuela

Phoyo from AFP: A huger number of Venezuelans come out into the streets of Caracas to show their support for the elected president Nicolas Maduro on 2 February 2019

The following is a statement from the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) concerning the United States led effort to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela and the preparations being made for a possible military invasion. IPAN is a major network of community, union and faith organisations pursuing peace and for Australia’s right to be and independent nation in the hands of the Australian people.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is deeply concerned with the Morrison government and ALP Opposition’s support for the United States call to remove the current rule of the Maduro government and the installing of the interim president Guaido in Venezuela. This is not our decision, nor the USA’s to make, but is a decision for the Venezuelan people.

“The position of the Australian government and opposition flies in the face of lessons from the recent, and not so recent, US led wars that Australia has supported and engaged in”. stated Ms Annette Brownlie, IPAN Chairperson.

What is required is an urgent diplomatic solution facilitated by the UN – not military intervention nor US sanctions that have not been endorsed by the UN.

“This situation also points to the urgent need for an independent Australian foreign policy that upholds and promotes the sovereignty and independence of our country and all other countries”, stated Ms Brownlie

IPAN considers support for military or economic intervention would be counterproductive to resolving the crisis being experienced by the Venezuelan people.

Former UN special rapporteur to Venezuela,  Alfred de Zayas, who finished his term last year has criticized the US for engaging in “economic warfare” against Venezuela which he said is hurting the economy and killing Venezuelans.

Mr de Zayas has argued that “The key to the solution of the crisis is dialogue and mediation… There is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état and nothing more corrosive to the rule of law and to international stability when foreign governments meddle in the internal affairs of other states.”

“Only the Venezuelans have a right to decide, not the United States, not the United Kingdom … We do not want a repetition of the Pinochet putsch in 1973.  What is urgent is to help the Venezuelan people through international solidarity – genuine humanitarian aid and a lifting of the financial blockade so that Venezuela can buy and sell like any other country in the world – the problems can be solved with good faith and common sense”.

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