The Embassy Protectors Defense Committee was formed after the illegal raid of the Venezuelan Embassy by the US Secret Service and the arrest of four members of the Embassy Protection Collective — Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, David Paul and Adrienne Pine — on May 16. For 37 days, members of the Embassy Protection Collective heroically refused to hand over the control of the Venezuelan Embassy, with the permission of the legitimate government of Venezuela, to a representative of the US-appointed, self-proclaimed “interim President” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.
The arrested Embassy Protectors are now facing trials on the trumped-up charge of “interfering with certain protective functions” of the Federal Government, a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum of one-year imprisonment and $100,000 fine for each one of them.
These activists are now facing exorbitant legal fees and difficult court battles. Two of them have assigned public attorneys and the other two had to hire private attorneys. However, even with public attorneys there are additional fees and expenses that need be covered, especially if there is going to be appeal processes involved. We estimate that, at least for the first round of the trials, it will cost upwards of $50,000 to put up a successful legal defense against the trumped-up charge of “interfering with certain protective functions” of the government.
Due to the sensitivity of this case for the United States Government, there is a good chance that, first, the prosecution will seek the maximum sentence for the four defendants in order to make an example of them so that no one else would ever dare taking a similar action in the future; and, second, that the government will try to keep the whole process under the veil of complete silence in order to keep the public unaware of the illegality of its actions with regard to both the raid of the Venezuelan Embassy and the prosecution of the Embassy Protectors.
Members of the Embassy Protectors Collective were representing the heart-felt sentiments of the whole peace and justice movement, and the true interests of the majority of American people, in their valiant effort in defense of international law, the Constitution of the United States, and the democratic rights of the people of Venezuela to national sovereignty and to choose their own government and their own leaders. We consider it our responsibility and moral duty to take active steps in support of the Embassy Protectors' legal battle against the government’s trumped-up charges.
With all these considerations in mind, the Embassy Protectors Defense Committee finds it imperative to organize and carry out an effective national campaign in support of the Embassy Protectors in the following three areas:
- To organize a nationwide fundraising campaign to raise the necessary funds to cover the legal expenses for the four Embassy Protectors. This will require soliciting active participation of all peace and justice organizations in the United States in a nationally coordinated fundraising campaign. This fundraising campaign is especially crucial as the US government has virtually unlimited resources to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.
- To organize a public information campaign to make the public aware of these trials and expose the falsehood of the charges brought by the government against the four Embassy Protectors. We recognize that these trials are going to have far-reaching implications that go beyond the issue of the Venezuelan Embassy. A negative outcome could be used to silence any opposition to the government's violations of the law in the future.
- To organize a political campaign to expose the fact that the US Government’s recognition of Juan’s Guaidó as the “interim President” of Venezuela, and the transfer of the control of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC to an illegitimate and unpopular “opposition" group in Venezuela is a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention and the United Nation’s Charter.
The Embassy Protectors Defense Committee invites all defenders of peace and justice in the US and around the world to join us in this crucial campaign, the result of which will inevitably have serious impact on the future course of our government and country.