The Sept. 21 editorial “Persecuted in Venezuela,” opposing Venezuela’s bid for a nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, distorted reality by accusing authorities of persecuting political prisoners and jailing Leopoldo López for his role in instigating “peaceful” protests this year. The protests demanding the extraconstitutional removal of the government led to more than 40 deaths, including individuals killed trying to remove protesters’ barricades. The “irresistible pressure for change” expected by the editorial never came because the majority of Venezuelans resolve political differences through elections and direct democratic participation, not violence.
The Post’s scare-mongering around Venezuela’s candidacy harkened to the Cold War mind-set that animated a similar campaign in 2006. Venezuela is not an advocate for other countries at the United Nations: It is a determined advocate for peace, as demonstrated by its commitment to regional stability and strong support for the Colombian peace process.
The Post stated that Venezuela may be on the verge of suffering “a catastrophic economic collapse” and supported such a claim by offensively referring to our head of state as an “economically illiterate former bus driver.” Venezuelans are proud to belong to a democracy that allows former blue-collar workers to rise to the top.
Maximilien Sánchez Arveláiz, Washington
The writer is chargé d’affaires at Venezuela’s U.S. Embassy.