'There’s an office that you go to to overthrow a government. CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou stands in front of a packed house in the Chavez Room at the Venezuelan Embassy. A mural of Hugo Chavez looks on from the back wall. Bookcases stand empty, a fitting sign of the bumbling idiocy of empire. The lobby has been converted into a makeshift gallery: images of Maduro and Chavez flank the unused metal detector and security desk. Two dry-erase boards announce to passersby in English and Spanish that “This Embassy Belongs to the Elected Government of Venezuela.” Desks and offices look sparse; a few forgotten papers and pens radiate the eerie feeling of a forced eviction.
Still, no one could say that the embassy is quiet or empty of life. Dozens of people have been filing into the Chavez room several times a week to listen to presentations, music, poetry, comedy and discussions. The administrative work of diplomacy may have tapered and paused following the April 9 OAS announcement that ordered Venezuelan diplomats to vacate the embassy. But in its place, activists manifested an epicenter for cultural and creative peace work that operated with powerful shows of intersectionality and collaboration for almost three weeks.
Up until the arrival of the violent pro-coup protesters on April 30, embassy protectors maintained a full schedule of events that sought not only to highlight the important work of embassy protection but also to connect struggles, build solidarity, educate and engage. And even when pro-coup thugs attacked anti-war activists in front of a flaccid Secret Service, protectors held strong and amplified our messages — focusing not just on what we stand against, but on what we stand for.
After all, no movement can exist in negative space alone. While we are vehemently against imperialism, white supremacy and war, we are unequivocally for autonomy, peace, self-determination, solidarity, creativity, culture and collaboration. We are for justice — and truth. Progress and human rights. Love. In short, all of the things that imperialism, fascism and empire can neither cultivate nor understand.'
Read more: The American People Are the True Victims of Our Latest Coup
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