Open letter to the people of United States

If I know anything, it’s about people, because just like you, I am a man of the people. I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood in Caracas. I was forged in the heat of social and union struggles in Venezuela subjected to exclusion and inequality. I’m not a tycoon;

I am a worker who relies on reason and heart, and today I have the great privilege of leading the new Venezuela rooted in a model of inclusive development and social equality built by President Hugo Chávez since 1998 and inspired by the Bolivarian legacy.

We are living in historic times. These are days that will define the future of our countries between war and peace. Those who represent you in Washington want to bring to our borders the same hate they sowed in Vietnam.

They want to invade and intervene Venezuela – as they said then and are saying now – in the name of democracy and freedom. The story of usurpation of power in Venezuela is as false as that of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It is a sham that could have dramatic consequences for the entire region.

Venezuela is a country that through its Constitution of 1999 has widely expanded participatory and protagonist democracy of the people, and which in an unprecedented manner, is today one of the countries with the most electoral processes in the past 20 years. You may not like our ideology or appearance, but we exist and we are millions.

I say this to the people of the United States of America to warn them of the serious and dangerous intent that factions in the White House have for invading Venezuela, which would have unforeseeable consequences for my nation and for all of the Americas.

President Donald Trump also intends to disrupt the noble initiatives for dialogue spurred by Uruguay and Mexico, with the support of CARICOM, for a peaceful and dialogue solution that benefits Venezuela.

We know that for the good of Venezuela we have to sit down and talk; refusing dialogue is to choose the path of force. Let us keep in mind the words of John F. Kennedy: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” Are those who do not want dialogue afraid of the truth?

Political intolerance toward the Venezuelan Bolivar-ian model and the hunger for immense oil and mineral resources, as well as other great riches, has pushed an international coalition led by the U.S. government towards committing the major folly of attacking Venezuela militarily under the false of an excuse of a non-existent humanitarian crisis.

The people of Venezuela have suffered and felt pain at the social wounds caused by a criminal trade and financial blockade, which has been aggravated by the plundering and theft of our financial resources and assets in countries aligned with this demented onslaught. Nevertheless, thanks to our innovative system of social welfare, we proudly continue to be a country with a high human development index and the lowest inequality in the Americas.

The people of the United States should know that this complex, multi-form aggression is being carried out with total impunity and in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, which expressly forbids the threat or use of force, among other principles and resolutions in the pursuit of peace and relations of friendship amongst nations.

We want to continue to be trading partners with the people of the United States, as we have been throughout our history.

Your politicians in Washington, however, are willing to send your sons and daughters to die in an absurd war, rather than respecting the sacred right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination and the safeguarding of their sovereignty.

Like you, the people of the United States, we Venezuelans are patriots. And we will defend what is ours with every part of our soul.

Today, Venezuela is united with one single outcry: we demand an end to the aggression that seeks to suffocate our economy and social strangle our people, as well as an end to the grave and dangerous threats of military intervention against Venezuela.

We appeal to the good souls of U.S. society, which is also a victim of its rulers, so you can join our call for peace. Let us be single people against warmongering and war.

Long live the peoples of America!!!

President Nicolás Maduro