Rights Action
January 29, 2019
Say no to U.S. & Canadian-led ‘Lima group’ meeting in Ottawa, Canada, plotting further illegal actions to force government change in Venezuela
“Recent headlines in the Globe and Mail (“Venezuelan crisis buoys prospects for Canadian heavy crude oil producers”) and Wall Street Journal (“Bond Prices in Venezuela Jump on Prospect of Regime Change”).”
(“Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état”, by Yves Engler)
Public commentary to politicians, media and folks across the U.S. and Canada
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Say no to U.S. & Canadian-led ‘Lima group’ meeting in Ottawa, Canada, plotting further illegal actions to force government change in Venezuela
By Grahame Russell, Rights Action
On February 4, 2019, government officials from Canada and the U.S., from the corrupt, repressive, military-backed regimes of Brazil, Guatemala and Honduras, and from a few other Latin American countries are meeting in Ottawa, Canada. (CBC News, Jan 28, 2019,
Prompted by the U.S., and invited by Prime Minister Trudeau and Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, they will discuss further political, economic, media-propaganda and ?covert or overt military? actions to continue with illegal efforts to try and oust the government of Venezuela.

Over the past two years, democrats in the U.S., liberals in Canada, and much of the mainstream media in both countries have criticized, opposed and even mocked President Trump and officials in his government and White House.  Now, a majority of democrats and liberals have joined republican and conservative counterparts in support of this President Trump/U.S. and Prime Minister Trudeau/Canadian-led effort at illegal government change.
At the same time, these same politicians - and most media outlets - are censoring any discussion about the illegality of arbitrarily “recognizing” an opposition politician as president of Venezuela, and of the economic sanctions already applied by Canada and the U.S. against Venezuela.
This entire situation is as arbitrary - and even absurd - as it sounds.  It is also illegal, very harmful and deadly.  Left unchecked, it can only get worse.
“Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.”
(“A Sunday at the Pool in Kingali”, by Gil Courtemanche)
So as to give false credence to the so-called Lima group, there is no concern expressed by most politicians from the dominant parties in the U.S. and Canada, and no media coverage about the Lima group “allies” such as the anti-democratic/ corrupt/ military-backed/ pro-global business/ refugee-producing governments in Honduras and Guatemala.  (I leave it to others to describe the nature of other Lima group allies, such as the incoming military-backed, anti-democratic - but yes, pro-global business - regime in Brazil.)
The U.S. and Canada’s whole-hearted inclusion of Guatemala and Honduras as ‘democratic allies’ in this illegal power play means - for a majority of U.S. and Canadian politicians and much of the media - that there are not systemic human rights violations –including political prisoners- in Guatemala and Honduras.  There is no government repression and killings of community, human rights and environmental defenders.  Organized crime rings (including drug traffickers) have not infiltrated all branches of the government, police and military.  There is no widespread fear, destitution and poverty.  And 10s of 1000s of refugee migrants, fleeing Honduras and Guatemala every year, have no reason to flee.
“If you are not careful, the press will have you hating the people being repressed and loving the people doing the repressing.”
(Malcolm X)
It is hard to know what to do about this illegal power play, brazenly led by the U.S. and Canada, supported by the likes of Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, etc., when the very institutions of our counties and societies – governments, political parties and oversight committees; judiciaries and related investigatory administrative bodies; publicly and privately owned media outlets, that have as their fundamental duties and responsibilities to provide checks and balances, and/or to investigate and report on abuses of power and authority (from the local to state/provincial, to federal, to global levels) - are actively participating in or ‘justifying’ this illegal, harmful and violent attempt and government change.
Fundamentally, it is up to folks across the U.S. and Canada to continue with organizing, education and actions aimed at holding ourselves, our media and our governments accountable for this and other illegal interventions across the globe that are, invariably, for our own selfish economic and political interests.
"There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: search for understanding, education, organization, action ... and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future."
(Noam Chomsky)
Politicians and government officials, and mainstream media outlets will decide, as always, whether they take their fundamental responsibilities – related to honesty, truthful reporting and representation, democracy, rule of law and justice, human rights - seriously , or not.
"Do with it what you will. Cry over it. Get angry. Forget it. But don't say in years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You have heard it now."
(Thomas King, Native storyteller and Professor at University of Guelph)
Grahame Russell

Rights Action

“Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état”, by Yves Engler,
Rights Action (U.S. & Canada)
Rights Action funds human rights, environmental and territorial defense organizations in Guatemala and Honduras; we provide relief funds to victims of political repression, health harms and natural disasters; we expose and work to hold accountable the U.S. and Canadian governments, companies and investors, international actors (World Bank, etc.) that cause and profit from the repression, environmental harms and human rights violations.
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