If I know anything, it is people, because like yourselves, I am a man of the people. I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood of Caracas. I was forged in the heat of popular and union struggles in a Venezuela submerged in exclusion and inequality. I am not a tycoon, I am a worker in thought and heart. Today I have the great privilege of presiding over the new Venezuela, rooted in a model of inclusive development and social equality, envisioned by Commander Hugo Chávez since 1998 and inspired by the Bolivarian legacy.
We are today living a historical moment. In these coming days, the future of our countries will be defined as one of war or peace. Your national representatives in Washington want to bring to your borders the same hatred that they sowed in Vietnam. They want to invade and intervene in Venezuela—they say, as they said then—in the name of democracy and freedom. But this is not so. The story of the usurpation of power in Venezuela is as false as the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It is a false case, but it can have dramatic consequences for our entire region.
Venezuela is a country that, by virtue of its 1999 Constitution, has broadly expanded the participatory and protagonistic democracy of the people, and in an unprecedented manner, is one of the countries with the largest number of electoral processes held over the last 20 years. You might not like our ideology or our appearance, but we exist and we are millions.
I address these words to the people of the United States of America to warn of the seriousness and danger of some sectors in the White House considering an invasion of Venezuela with unpredictable consequences for my country and for the entire American region. President Donald Trump also intends to disrupt the noble dialogue initiatives promoted by Uruguay and Mexico, with the support of CARICOM, for a peaceful solution and dialogue in favor of Venezuela. We know that, for the good of Venezuela, we must sit down and talk because to refuse dialogue is to choose the path of force. 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 to dialogue afraid of the truth?
The political intolerance towards the Venezuelan Bolivarian model and the appetite for our immense oil resources, minerals, and other great riches, has prompted an international coalition headed by the U.S. government to commit the serious insanity of militarily attacking Venezuela, under the false pretext of a non-existent humanitarian crisis.
The people of Venezuela have suffered painful social wounds caused by a criminal commercial and financial blockade, which has been aggravated by the seizing and theft of our financial resources and assets in countries aligned with this demented onslaught.
And yet, thanks to a new system of social protection, of direct attention to the most vulnerable sectors, we proudly continue to be a country with one of the highest human development indices and with lowest inequality in the Americas.
The U.S. people must know that this complex multifaceted aggression is carried out with total impunity and in clear violation of the United Nations Charter, which expressly rejects the threat or use of force, among other principles and purposes for the sake of peace and friendly relations between Nations.
We want to continue being business partners of the people of the United States, as we have been throughout our history. The politicians in Washington, on the other hand, are willing to send their sons and daughters to die in an absurd war, instead of respecting the sacred right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination and to safeguard our sovereignty.
Like you, people of the United States, we Venezuelans are patriots. And we shall defend our homeland with every piece of our soul. Today Venezuela is united in a single voice: we demand the end of aggression that seeks to suffocate our economy and socially suffocate our people, as well an end to the serious and dangerous threats of military intervention against Venezuela. We appeal to the good soul of U.S. society, a victim of its own leaders, to join our call for peace: let us be all one people against warmongering and war.
Long live the peoples of America!
President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela