[Pnews] Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 15 18:19:41 EST 2020
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are
Ajamu Baraka - 15 Jan 2020
Trump’s prosecutors are trying to suppress the facts of the US attempted
coup in Venezuela, and railroad the Embassy Protectors to prison.
*/“The prosecutors would leave the jury wearing a blindfold, unaware of
the facts, context or why the Embassy Protectors were in the embassy.”/*
As the trial approaches, the lawyers for the Trump Administration’s
prosecution of the four Venezuelan Embassy Protectors who were arrested
last May are asking the court to make sure the jury is kept ignorant
about the facts and circumstances surrounding the actions of the protectors.
In a recently filed motion by government lawyers, state prosecutors are
seeking to severely restrict what can be discussed during the
trial scheduled for February 11, 2020. Judge Beryl Howell will hear
arguments on the motion at the pre-trial hearing on January 29.
What does the prosecution want to repress? Everything that might give
the defenders the ability to challenge the state’s case.
The prosecutors do not want jurors to know that Nicolas Maduro is the
democratically elected president of Venezuela. They also do not want the
illegitimacy of the failed coup leader Juan Guaido to be known to the
jurors as the eviction and arrest of the four was based on the direction
of a fake ambassador, Carlos Vecchio, who is wanted for violent crimes
in Venezuela and is allied with Guaido.
The Trump prosecutors do not want the jury to know that the Embassy
Protectors were inside the embassy with the permission of the elected
government of Venezuela that is recognized under Venezuelan law and by
the United Nations.
And, they do not want the Vienna Convention discussed so jurors are
unaware that the United States violated international law when police
entered the embassy to arrest the four who remained inside.
*/“The Embassy Protectors were inside the embassy with the permission of
the elected government of Venezuela.”/*
The parties will also discuss /voir dire/, i.e., the questions that will
be used to pick the jury and ensure they are not biased, as well as jury
instructions, which the court will read to the jurors before they
The government’s motion /in limine/, if approved by the judge, would
leave the jury wearing a blindfold, unaware of the facts, context or why
the Embassy Protectors were in the embassy. This will ensure the desired
outcome of the state which is to convict the defenders and make them a
model for how the state intends to deal with challenges to its illegal
The jurors will also not be told that the protectors were under siege,
surrounded by a pro-coup mob that was working with the police,
threatening the protectors and blocking food from going into the
embassy. And, they will not know the government had the electricity and
water turned off in the embassy.
While there were negotiations between the US and Venezuela for a mutual
protecting power agreement during the final days of the embassy
protection, the jurors will not be told that the negotiations were
occurring and that they would have resulted in Switzerland protecting
the US embassy in Caracas and Turkey protecting the Venezuelan embassy
in DC. The embassy protectors told the police they would leave
voluntarily when that agreement was reached. The day before the four
were arrested, Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, held
a press conference<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdSVUP4gTm4> where he
discussed the negotiations for a protecting power agreement and said the
Embassy Protectors were in the embassy with Venezuela’s permission.
*/“The United States violated international law when police entered the
embassy to arrest the four who remained inside.”/*
The government is also urging the court not to allow the four to explain
they were exercising their rights under the First Amendment to political
expression and criticizing the US government for their continuing
efforts to force the overthrow of the democratically elected government
If Judge Howell grants the Trump government’s motion, it will leave the
Embassy Protectors virtually defenseless. The government wants the
prosecution to be about three things (1) the four were in the embassy,
(2) they were given a notice of eviction by the police, and (3) they
refused to leave.
The judge has thus far shown she leans toward the government’s narrow
view of the case and does not want the questionable legality of the
state’s order to vacate the embassy and its clearly illegal entry into
the embassy and arrest of the defenders as part of the trial. When the
motion for discovery was argued, the judge ruled against the Embassy
Protectors regarding documents and other materials related to some of
the above issues. See this article we wrote at the time, “Embassy
Protectors Are Being Denied Their Right To A Fair
In this period of normalized illegality and attempts at intimidation, we
shall not allow the state to move against these courageous activists
without resistance from our movements. While today it is the defenders,
tomorrow it could be any of us.
*/Ajamu Baraka and Bahman Azad are the co-chairs of/**/the Embassy
Protectors Defense Committee/*<https://defendembassyprotectors.org/>*/.
Baraka is the national organizer for the/**/Black Alliance for
Peace/*<https://blackallianceforpeace.com/>*/ and /**/member of the
Secretariat of the U.S. Peace Council. Azad is coordinator for
the/**/Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
/*<https://noforeignbases.org/>*/and the Executive Secretary of the
/**/U.S. Peace Council/*<https://uspeacecouncil.org/>*/./*
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*/Or, you can comment by emailing us at /*/comments at blackagendareport.com/
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