President Donald Trump has called on Venezuelan soldiers to disobey orders and join coup perpetrators headed by U.S.-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaidó. If they do not do this, President Trump threatened: “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything.”
While President Trump speaks of supporting democracy in Venezuela and Latin America, the real purpose of the U.S. assault on the Venezuelan government is to fully open the vast Venezuelan oil reserves to U.S. and other Western oil corporations as well as to destroy progressive governments in Latin America that put their own peoples’ needs above the profits of foreign corporations.
The Veterans For Peace Statement of Purpose states that, “we will work, with others both nationally and internationally:
1 To increase public awareness of the causes and costs of war
2 To restrain our governments from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
3 To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
4 To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
5 To abolish war as an instrument of national policy.”
In this spirit, Veterans For Peace (VFP) calls on all members of the U.S. military to refuse illegal orders to intervene in Venezuela. Furthermore, VFP urges all U.S. military leaders to inform the president that they will order their units to stand down from preparations to invade Venezuela.
Illegal, immoral and irresponsible U.S. actions, including “sanctions” (economic war) have already taken a great toll on the people Venezuela. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Venezuelan people and military are standing firm against foreign intervention. Now there is a very real possibility that President Trump will order U.S. troops to intervene in Venezuela, whether through a direct invasion and occupation, or through support for irregular counter-revolutionary forces. This would likely lead to a widening war that could spread to other Latin American countries and the Caribbean, bringing increasing suffering to the peoples of Latin America and the U.S.
It is illegal under both U.S. and international law to launch a military attack against another nation unless it is clearly in self-defense, and is approved by the United Nations. There are a number of options for GI’s who do not wish to follow illegal orders. Veterans For Peace wants service-members to be fully informed as they make profound choices with possibly serious consequences. We urge GI’s facing possible deployment to contact the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force at (619) 463-2369 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org for referral to a civilian attorney to discuss your options. Many of their member lawyers are willing to do an initial pro-bono (free) consultation.
Refuse to be used in an illegal war. Follow your conscience and be on the right side of history.