CODEPINK Activist Ariel Gold on Defending Venezuela’s Embassy

Far from Caracas a group of American activists have been defending the sovereignty of Venezuela from inside its embassy in Washington. The state department ordered all Maduro loyal staff to leave the building by April 24th to make way for Guaido’s diplomats. Juan Guaido declared himself president of Venezuela on January 23rd with full support from the United States but most Venezuelan diplomats and military officials have remained loyal to Maduro. According to Ariel Gold, National Co-Director of the antiwar activist group CODEPINK they have been maintaining a 24/7 presence at the embassy since April 14th to prevent Guaido’s appointed diplomats from taking over the embassy.

"We’ve been working with the embassy staff ever since the coup began. As they started to reduce the staff we’ve had some educational events here then we finally made a decision that we should be there. And they said to us you are welcome, you are there with our permission." Gold told me over the phone Monday night from the embassy.

Maduro’s diplomatic officials were all expected to be out of the embassy by April 24th and the activists were prepared for a confrontation, "That was what they said to the diplomatic officials, we assumed it would apply to us and we were prepared to have them come in. It’s my understanding that it did apply to us but we had a huge turnout of people that showed up to lend their support and lend their bodies. And after that they decided not to show."

Eliot Abrams, Trumps Venezuelan regime change point man called the sit in a "violation of law", when asked about Abrams comments Gold called out his hypocrisy, "Well what a farce that Eliot Abrams would tell us that we’re breaking the law, he’s a convicted criminal and has been involved in war crimes. If Eliot Abrams did say that he is in fact entirely wrong. We are completely within our legal rights, we are here legally with permission from the Venezuelan government. Under the Vienna convention even if two countries lose diplomatic relations the embassy remains the property of that government, so for the secret service or US police would in fact be illegal."

Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Treaties states, "The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission."

Gold and other CODEPINK activists have called on antiwar Americans from around to country to help them. Anybody is welcome at the embassy and this Saturday May 4th a rally will be taking place there. For those who cannot make it in person, they can donate directly to the activists at the embassy online or send meals from local restaurants. CODEPINK always encourages people to speak out on social media and other platforms they have. You can also send a letter to the state department here.

Dave DeCamp is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US Foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.

45 thoughts on “CODEPINK Activist Ariel Gold on Defending Venezuela’s Embassy”

  1. Do Antiwar.com and Code Pink get their orders directly from Putin, or does he have their KGB handlers take care of the communications?

    1. Perhaps you mean their KFC handlers? The KGB has been gone for some 28 years. 196 years in dog years.

    2. You traitor. Starting a civil war in Venezuela will send refugees flooding out, which could lead not only to Venezuelans directly entering the US (who would take responsibility) but also to destabilising neighboring polities.

      In what way does such scenario serve the interests of American citizens? It doesn’t. Traitor.

      Furthermore, why ban American investors from investing in Venezuela? Who but Americans are punished? As a result, Russia and China move in…

      1. If Trump had lived up to his promises on the wall, it wouldn’t matters if all of latin America converged on our border. But good comment.

        1. If Trump had lived up to his promises on the wall, he’d be facing zero chance of re-election now.

          The purpose of the wall is to keep his base agitated about building it.

          Once it’s built and has almost no effect whatsoever on immigration, it doesn’t do him any political good anymore.

          1. Your grip on reality seems to be slipping today. Friday has potential though.

            He’d be soaring in the polls.

            The purpose of promising the wall is to make voters think that finally there is someone sane in control. The purpose of actually building the wall is to keep people out. Difficult concepts, I know.

            98% of humans are not adept at scrambling up sheets of smooth, vertical steel. You must be confusing actual walls with yellow tape stretched across the border. Tape would have no effect on immigration. If yellow tape were at issue, you’d be correct.

          2. If the wall got built, people would continue to come over, under, or around it at the same rate as would otherwise prevail. And Trump’s base would no longer have “build the wall” as a goal to hold them to him. The question is politics is always “what have you done for me lately?” not “what did you do a while back that turned out to be a total scam?”

            The only way to reduce immigration into the United States is to turn it into a shithole that nobody would want to come to.

            Which, granted, is what both major political parties seem hell-bent on doing.

          3. You’re correct that both parties intend for America to be a third-world shithole.

            There are, however, other ways of discouraging invaders. Even yellow tape would suffice if it were known that our borders are covered by fire. But the people and the politicians are asleep and, anyway, lack the will to adopt the measures that non-pussified people would adopt. American sovereignty and citizenship mean nothing.

            You’re wrong about fences. People willing to walk miles through the desert to reach a likely crossing point and who the requisite physical abilities to scale or penetrate a wall or other barrier are few. The vast majority will be repelled and instantly the word will go out that people of normal abilities best stay home. The Great Wall of China worked. The Maginot Line worked. Not one German soldier came over the top of it.

            Talking about walls does NOT imply a belief that they are 100% effective. Remember the Pareto Rule?

          4. Words mean things. Immigrants aren’t “invaders.”

            “The Great Wall of China worked.”

            “The Maginot Line worked. Not one German soldier came over the top of it.”

            Yeah. They went around it. The US has 95,500 miles of border coastline and neither sea nor air technology are as primitive as that used by, say, the pilgrims to land themselves.

            “!00% effective” isn’t the standard for a border wall. “Effective at all” is. By the time the wall was done, there would be plenty of tunnels under it, not to mention coyotes buying cabin cruisers and ultralights. If relative economic conditions between the US and the countries those immigrants were coming from stayed the same, so would the numbers coming. And doing so successfully.

          5. Invaders.

            You are the master of “yes but” argumentation.

            Walls keep out most invaders. Yes but they can go around.

            The wall can be extended. Yes but invaders can dig under them.

            Tunnels can be detected and shut down. Yes but boats and planes can be used too.

            Boats and planes are easily detectable and the reduced number of passengers is essentially victory in any practical world. Yes, but human traffickers can build submarines.

            It’s a given with libertarians. They sound good for a minute or two and then, invariably, the guy in the jock strap gets up to dance on the dais.

        2. The wall is only part of the solution. Also need visa overstay tracking system, e-verify, executive order against birthright citizenship, and other reforms.

          1. I didn’t stutter.

            The US had completely de jure open borders until 1882 (seven years after an activist SCOTUS miracled up an imaginary constitutional power for the federal government to regulate immigration), but they didn’t get serious about it in a general way until the 1950s. You didn’t even need a passport to enter or leave the US until 1947.

            A big part of the US slide into tyranny was the slow slide into the idiotic notion that where people peacefully travel, or why, or for how long they stay, is anyone’s business but theirs.

          2. Prior to 1882, it wasn’t just de facto open borders, it was de jure open borders because Congress understood that it would take a constitutional amendment to create a federal power to regulate immigration. Even after the activist progressive Supreme Court pulled that power out of its collective ass in Chy Lung v. Freeman (1875), the first substantive federal immigration law (the Chinese Exclusion Act) depended on treaty provisions, not on that SCOTUS decision because most congresscritters still clung, just a little, to the idea of staying within constitutional limitations.

            It wasn’t until the 1890s that the feds took over immigration processing in New York from that state’s Port Authority. It wasn’t until 1947 that the feds started saying a passport was required to enter or leave the US, and then they only enforced that at airports, not at the Canadian and Mexican borders. When I went to Mexico in 1986, your driver’s license or military ID was sufficient to cross both ways.

            In 1980, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush ran for the Republican nomination in part on which could be the more “open borders” candidate. It wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that the Republicans started acting like Democrats on immigration, and only in 2016 that they finally topped the Democrats on authoritarian immigration idiocy by nominating one for president.

            Yes, it just so happens that “libertarian nonsense,” and the Constitution, and the traditional American way, happen to coincide in this instance. The “libertarian nonsense” would still be correct even if the the Constitution and the traditional American way happened not to be, though.

            Immigration authoritarians are, by definition, authoritarians. They and their street gang style enforcers should be ignored when possible, avoided when they can’t be ignored, and shot between the eyes when they can’t be avoided.

          3. That’s an interesting point. The language of the first naturalization laws focus on admitting people to citizenship who had resided in the country for a certain period, inter alia. No legislation that I’m aware of expressly stated that entry was without restriction so it was de facto open borders.

            I’ll have to read Chy Lung and the CEA to see if they support what you say. For now, it’s sufficient to note that Art. I, Sect. 9 states that Congress may not prohibit the migration or importation of people otherwise acceptable to the States for 20 years. Clearly the Framers and Ratifiers contemplated that Congress could prohibit the migration or importation of people after the 20-year period.

            That Reagan and subsequent presidents and Congresses sold out America with open borders is undeniable. Probably the ones after Eisenhower through Carter did as well.

            People who enforce the law are not “authoritarians.” Where did you get that idea? Your idea that immigration officials should be shot is nuts.

          4. “Clearly the Framers and Ratifiers contemplated that Congress could prohibit the migration or importation of people after the 20-year period.”

            No, Congress could have proposed an amendment creating such a power on its part after the 20-year period (Article V prohibited such an amendment during the 20-year period). See Amendment 10.

          5. “Your idea that immigration officials should be shot is nuts.”

            Just to be clear here: I don’t believe that immigration thugs should be shot except while directly in the act of interfering with migration. If they want to strut around in their gang colors and draw a stolen paycheck, that’s BS but not a death penalty offense. The minute they forcibly attempt to impede the movement of innocent others, they’re actively engaged in a crime and whatever they get, they asked for. A few body bags at roll call for the end of every Border Patrol shift would curtail both the gang’s enthusiasm and its recruitment success.

          6. Again, this is from a white perspective. For example, us people of African descent used those “open borders” in the US to the tune of over 800,000 by 1800 (US CENSUS of 1800) and were graciously “allowed in without any documentation”. The problem? 1) We didn’t want in. and 2) the open border was only open to our people entering, no exit, before we entered the “worth less than an animal” phase of our people’s existence in the US with those open borders. Heck, why should we complain? Americans welcomed non-whites in so much, we freely intermarried into white American families, found our futures to be very bright and our potential through 1800-1960 was GREAT and filled with opportunities. Why our families that came through those open borders in 1800 actually got the right to vote like white people in 1965! Hell, we could marry out of our race across all 50 states by 1967! Please try and understand the perspective of your “open borders”. Again, the borders were NEVER “open” according to US law until at least 1965! ..and even at that, open begrudgingly. I get your perspective. I actually ENVY your perspective. I wish it was mine and that of my ancestors and my children…but it’s not.

          7. “Again, the borders were NEVER ‘open’ according to US law until at least 1965!”

            According to US law, they were entirely open until 1882 (the first federal immigration regulation, the Chinese Exclusion Act), mostly open until 1947 (when the US started requiring a passport to enter or leave), and in fact they are open now (since the US Constitution neither has, nor allows for, a federal power to regulate immigration).

    1. Sometimes its best not to start a civil war, nor to rubblify a foreign polity. Just saying…

      Maduro would likely lose support if he couldn’t blame America for the economy. Sanctioning Venezuela is foolish. Similarly, Iran would have seen a change in power by now if not for US actions.

      1. Sir, or ma’am, this hardass right winger actually agrees with you. My point was to merely illustrate where the sympathies of the hardcore American Left, of which Code Pink is certainly a member, lie. I find this both disgusting and infuriating.

        Under no condition do I desire American intervention in Venezuela. I’ve seen this movie many times before – Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, oh hell, Viet Nam – and it rarely, if ever, ends well.

        1. My apologies. Code Pink often does seem red in the middle, like how Greens are watermelons.

          If President Trump were more like candidate Trump, Code Pink would be loath to speak a word of approval. Regardless, Code Pink serves my interests, as well as American interests, in what they’re doing here.

          1. Funny, I remember being a hardass young fella, hell I’m a retired inner city cop, who held the attitude, “Go in there and bomb them sumbitches. Topple Saddam, Ghadaffi, and the rest, at all costs.” Then life comes along, you know those little things like raising children and having grandchildren, and smacks one straight upside the head.

            Having said that, I do find myself frustrated and perplexed at how the left will so quickly side with the Maduros of the world. How in the hell have we gotten to the point where so many among us yearn for a Socialist or Marxist system that has created so much misery and death throughout history? This is where your side loses me.

          2. I am with you on the stupidity of wanting socialism. I do, however, support CP here as well as with regard to another matter that I can’t recall. (Benjamin’s objection to war in Syria?)Ten years ago I would have told you no way in hell. Now they make sense.

            The point to uphold where present American foreign policy is concerned is obedience to international law and the Constitution. The US has become an outlaw nation interfering at will contrary to the UN Charter and the Constitution. Worse, our reasons for doing so are dishonest, stupid, and murderous. Did I mention we serve the interests of Israel in Syria and by goading Iran? We have turned into an unlovely country where one-dollar-one-vote rules the day.

            Secondly, there is every reason NOT to intervene. Venezuelans voted for socialism and we need to be seen as not interfering in the least. The rank failures of socialism are there for all to see and we need to not interfere as the Venezuelans demonstrate the futility and misery of socialism.

          3. I’m right-wing, but I’m maybe a little different. The strategies for achieving certain goals are becoming more desperate and extreme now (eg considering supporting Tulsi or Yang despite substantial disagreements).

            With regard to foreign policy, no right wing radical of any sort supports any current interventions. Reclaiming Constantinople, defending overseas Christians and heritage sites (eg. in Iraq or Kosovo), fighting the drug war, or hindering migrations into the US are about the extent of right wing interventionist talk. The US tends to be on the opposite side.

          4. When I first saw Tulsi on Carlson’s show I told my friends she would be the first female President and a Democrat I could – gasp! – consider voting for. That all went out in a puff of smoke when she came out in support of the insane Green New Deal.

            Your intervention comment is spot-on, and one of the main reasons I left the Republican party many years ago. So, I’m thinking we are not so different.

      1. We should stay the hell out of it.

        If forced to “support” one side, it should most certainly NOT be Maduro.

    1. Biden and his “It’s OK to be rich” and “I like war” (he’ll have some absurd gaffe like this). Vs. Trump’s contradictory foreign policy statements…

  2. No matter who you are: Trump (Right wing idiot white person), keeping Hispanics out of America.
    #Codepink (Left wing idiots mostly white people), keeping Venezuelans out of their own property.
    White privilege apparently doesn’t have a political ideology, just a race.

    What’s even funnier (from a person of color’s perspective) was the sign codepink put up. “This embassy belongs to the ELECTED government of Venezuela!” Which basically says that if Trump was vacated by his congress like Maduro was, they’d support Trump because “he was the elected president.” It’s ok, we’re used to white people not allowing us into places and taking our stuff. FMR.

    1. What does “white” have to do with anything? Many Hispanics are “white” to the extent that the word has any meaning at all (its origin was as a discriminator between those who could or could not be held as chattel slaves — since 1865 in the US, that means either that there’s no such thing as “white” or that everyone is “white”).

      1. So, you’re saying that in the US there is no such thing as white privilege? (You must be white!) Not sure where you get your information as to “white”, the US EEOC CURRENTLY defines it explicitly as “original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.” White decides where someone has their start in life and opens doors. Being ignorant of white privilege is a luxury only white people have(if you’re not aware of the prevalence of white privilege, you’re most likely…white.. Some white people understand it. Most, like you apparently (asking what does white have to do with it?”), don’t even see it. That’s kind of sad. Many European Hispanics are white. Most Latin American Hispanics are NOT (hence our brown and black skin). A lot of people call Guaido “white”, which is really funny. I know both him and Maduro and been in the same places at the same time with both of them in the past (when Chavez was president). Guaido actually darker than Maduro in person. …but yeah, people call him white and not Maduro. White privilege is a very real thing.

        1. “So, you’re saying that in the US there is no such thing as white privilege? (You must be white!)”

          There’s certainly “privilege” based on perceived skin coloration, and that’s a bad thing (I’m a mutt, but easily “pass” as “white”).

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