Veterans For Peace is outraged at the unfolding coup d’etat in Venezuela, which is clearly being orchestrated by the U.S. government. Two hundred years of blatant U.S. intervention in Latin America must come to an end. Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985, in part prompted by the U.S.-backed “contra” war in Nicaragua, and U.S. support for the rightwing government in the bloody civil war in neighboring El Salvador. We did not want to see another Vietnam War in Central America.
Years of increasingly crippling U.S. sanctions have succeeded in destabilizing the Venezuelan economy and created great unrest, division and migration. The U.S. government encouraged Venezuelan opposition parties to boycott last year’s election. Now they are calling the election fraudulent, and attempting to install a little-known politician more to their liking. This is part of a dangerous game that the U.S. continues to play throughout Latin America.
President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton has called Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba the “Troika of Tyranny,” and boasted that they have now “met their match.” Right-wing Cuban American Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said to be deeply involved in orchestrating this coup, has implied that U.S. military intervention may be next. Responding to questions about possible military intervention, President Trump says that “all options are on the table.” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have openly encouraged the Venezuelan military to stage a coup and U.S. officials have even met with potential coup leaders. Right-wing governments in Colombia and Brazil could also possibly be involved in U.S.-coordinated military action against the democratically elected government of Venezuela.
In our Statement of Purpose, Veterans For Peace promises to “restrain our governments from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations.” We call on our members in over 100 U.S. cities and internationally, to make their voices heard. We must do all we can to prevent a bloody civil war from taking a huge toll on the Venezuelan people, and the peace-loving people of the hemisphere.
Call your political representatives, write letters to the editors, protest in the streets, resist yet another blow against democracy and human rights in this hemisphere and the world.
For more historical context details about the current situation in Venezuela, please read this Open Letter signed by 70 academics, Latin America experts and activists, including Veterans For Peace Advisory Board members, Medea Benjamin and Phyllis Bennis.
HERE ARE OUR DEMANDS:
Stop the glorification of war.
Return Veteran’s Day to Armistice Day, a day to celebrate peace.
Divest from the war machine and use public dollars for human needs and protection of the planet.
We are not attempting to ignore or discredit Veterans Day. However, we believe that Veterans Day has been seized by those who love war, profit and power; “honoring” veterans has simply become a one-day photo-op for generals, politicians, celebrities and mattress companies. We, the veterans, are the product of war. We demand peace.
The Veterans Peace March will be veteran-led. Supporters are urged to attend and march, but do so with respect to the veterans in the lead, and also respect the complete silence of the veterans as they march.
We will be stopping to leave remembrance poppies at the:
• WWII Memorial
• Vietnam Veterans Memorial
• Vietnam Womenʼs Memorial
• Lincoln Memorial
• Korean War Veterans Memorial
We will then cross the Memorial Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery where we will leave a poppies at selected grave sites.
Our goal is to challenge war. We will march in silence to counter the clamor for war. The remembrance poppies are to honor the warriors (Red), the massive civilian deaths (White), and the resisters who opposed the war (Black) ... and not the war.
We are planning an action a day ahead of the parade and a nighttime concert prior to the parade. Is this the simple of it? Our focal point will be veterans and active duty soldiers as the core element, with supporting organizations backing our effort. We formed to counter Trump's parade ... but we recommend if Trump doesn't do a parade that we continue this work to still hold a March to reclaim Armistice Day as A Day To Remember and respect our fallen brothers and sisters throughout the world, in each country, and to never forget the folly of war. "
- All material may be edited for clarity, style and length.
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." D.D. Eisenhower
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I think our prescriptive position as US citizens is quite straight forward. The US to finally sign a peace agreement with North Korea replacing the old armistice, immediately renounce any further joint military exercises with the South Korean military, itself an historical creation of the US, guarantee its removal of nuclear land and sea-based missiles and weapons from Korea (and neighboring Japan, if any), and from the Yellow Sea (old name), East China Sea, and Sea of Japan.
This is has been the indispensable missing diplomatic policy needed for 60 years since the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. The fact that North Korea (originally a artificially divided from its temporary southern half in 1945) recently renounced the Armistice is simply because it has no meaning with the constant war posturing of the US and South Korea. The US has to make it clear its intentions for peace. The fact that the US is not likely to do this should in no way compromise our advocating what truly needs to happen for peace.
Born on the 4th of July 1941, … My experience in Vietnam changed my life forever as was the case for so
many young men and women who found themselves struggling for physical and psychic survival in the jungles, rice paddies, and villages of Southeast Asia. ...I began to regularly express my opposition to the bombings and the large numbers of civilian villagers who were being murdered. I was in Vietnam five months when I was suddenly separated from my unit and ordered to return to the U.S. nearly one month ahead of schedule. With great difficulty, the Air Force and I tensely coexisted during the final year of my four-year commitment at an airbase in central Louisiana. You want to learn more –
read “Blood on the Tracks-The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson”
Robert Projansky Brief Bio:
Robert was in the military during the Korean war era and is now a member of Veterans For Peace Chapter 72, he is an actor, an attorney and teacher of Shakespeare.
We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children – Howard Zinn
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