For 37 days people from DC and across the US decided to defend the Venezuela embassy from illegal seizure by right-wing Venezuelans who had the okay from the Trump administration to do so. This “playing diplomat” began when a man by the name of Juan Guaido started “playing president” the day he declared himself to be “interim president” as he stood on a stage in the streets of Caracas.
The Embassy Defense Collective was born. Many things happened over the 37 days, including turning off the electricity and water. Right-wing supporters threatened the Collective and others outside who supported the Collective with vicious, disgusting epithets and a promise to inflict bodily harm.
But, it was the Secret Service police who roughed up peaceful protesters and, in more than one instance, cracked heads in takedowns crushing bodies against the pavement, and drawing blood. It was the cops who should have gone to the slammer for excessive force.
Yesterday the Collective and other supporters got their just due by shaking hands with President Maduro and receiving a a replica of one of Bolivar’s swords. And, with every sanction levied by the US resulting in more and more suffering for the people, it must have been heartening for Maduro to be in a room with people from the US who gave nothing but unconditional solidarity and a sense that next time, the number of US people participating will be greater and the actions will be bolder.