Communique from Gustavo Petro, leader of the Colombian Political Opposition, Concerning the Situation in Venezuela

Guillermo Calvo Mahé
5 min readFeb 25, 2019


Communique to the International Community Concerning the Situation in Venezuela

Bogota, Republic of Colombia, February, 2019

Humanity is experiencing times characterized by change, instability and above all, fear. It’s experiencing a structural transition which, in the case of Latin America, is causing panic. Failing to understand that our society requires transformation, anachronistic forces currently governing us are engaged in desperate attempts to avoid the reforms our society demands thereby rendering it ever more fragile. In this regard, the apparent danger of a foreign military invasion of Venezuela would initiate an absurd war, impacting the entire region.

Most of the Colombian People, as victims of armed conflict for more than half a century, have no desire to open a new front of bellicosity, this time against a neighboring country, and oppose the current threats of armed confrontation. They are joined by politicians, intellectuals and social activists everywhere who have also raised their voices in opposition to the possibility of a war. While it is true that the United States sponsored Lima Group and others support Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez’ aspirations in Venezuela, we Latin Americans are not by nature interventionists and the majority would not accept a war that ultimately primarily responds to United States, rather than Venezuelan interests.

The current drums of war are a result of the political inability to understand events in progress, i.e., the emergence of a multipolar world where diversity reigns and colonialism, as a political practice, is finally being overcome. Such a world, based on international law and state sovereignty, is one we must protect by responding to the bellicose discourse of politicians leading peoples immersed in fear with proposals for dialogue and peace. Leaders in democracies should be subordinate to the will of their communities and thus it is the People who must exercise the historic role of building a new society. Because of that, heeding the example of the Latin American continent, one that for many generations has been subjected to internecine wars, all of us must raise our collective voices opposing regional and continental war.

We must collectively oppose war; in that we have to be inflexible. We must collectively oppose foreign intervention and invasion, not because we defend Mr. Maduro’s government but rather, because we defend the right to free and popular self-determination. In consequence, we are raising the banner of Peace, proposing coordinate anti-war marches both within the Americas and throughout the World. We believe that the only route to resolving the complex situation that prevails in Venezuela is through dialogue; dialogue from a perspective respectful of international law and human rights and prioritizing diplomacy as the means for restoring the serenity of the Venezuelan people. Only in such manner can tensions between political forces be reduced and the use of force avoided. In this regard we endorse the proposals by the Mexican and Uruguayan governments reflected in the Montevideo Mechanism whose goal is facilitation of a political agreement resolving the serious political, economic and social crises being experienced by Venezuela’s institutions and call on progressives everywhere to help us to avoid the barbarity of war. Together, let us assist humanity to reject fear, war and hatred.

We invite progressive forces everywhere to march for peace, multilateralism and dialogue. Let us not permit anachronistic leaders to push us towards a war that would destroy our beloved Latin America, a continent which, from the heights of the Andes, like the condor, has sought to move skies, rivers and mountains in quest of a home where peace and justice prevail.

Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, Senator, Republic of Colombia; President, Colombia Humana

Angela Maria Robledo, Congresswoman, Republic of Colombia; Vice President, Colombia Humana

Josefina Duarte Benitez, President, and Shady Ruiz Diaz, Secretary for International Relations, Partido Revolucionario Febrerista de Paraguay

Mario Bergara, Candidate for the Frente Amplio de Uruguay’s nomination for the presidency of Uruguay, formerly Economics Minister and President of the Central Bank of Uruguay

Catalunya en Comú

Secretaría Internacional, Podemos

Izquierda Unida

Partido Comunista de España

Socialist Party of Brazil

Ernest Urtasun, Member, European Parliament, Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds

Pablo Bustinduy, Spokesperson, Unidos Podemos, Foreign Affairs Committee, Congress of Deputies

Raimundo Viejo, Deputy, En Comú Podem, Congress of Deputies

Idoia Villanueva, Senator, Unidos Podemos en Comú and spokesman, Foreign Affairs Committee

Ángela Ballester, Deputy, Confederal Unidos Podemos en Comú Podem En Marea

Antón Gómez Reino, Deputy, Confederal de Unidos Podemos En Comú Podem En Marea

Miguel Ángel Bustamante, Deputy, Confederal de Unidos Podemos En Comú Podem en Marea

Enrique Santiago Romero, Secretary General, Partido Comunista de España

Manu Pineda, candidate for election to the European Parliament, Izquierda Unida — España

Christophe Ventura, International Relations Researcher, France

Sara Vilà Galán, Senator, Catalonia, En Comú Podem

Guillermo Calvo Mahé, LL.M, Academic, writer, political analyst and civic activist

Hilda Carrera, International civic activist, political consultant and advisor

Héctor Javier Valencia Salamanca, Bachelor of philosophy and modern languages, PhD candidate at the University of Tours

Historians for Peace and Democracy, organization dedicated to peace and diplomacy internationally and democracy and human rights at home

Dan Beeton, International communications director at Center for Economic and Policy Research, author and civic activist

Dan Kovalik, Academic, human and labor rights attorney, author and civic activist

Daniel Hellinger, PhD, Professor of international relations, author and expert on Latin American affairs

Marc Becker, PhD, Professor of Latin American studies, author and civic activist

Frederick B. Mills, PhD, Professor of philosophy, author and civic activist

Kevin A. Young, PhD, Professor of history, author and civic activist

Sujatha Fernandes, PhD, Professor in political economy and sociology, author and civic activist

Steve Ellner, PhD, Associate Managing Editor of Latin American Perspectives, academic, author and civic activist

Forrest Hylton, PhD, Professor and an ethnohistorian of Latin America and the Caribbean, writer and civic activist

Paul Ortiz, PhD, Professor of history, author and civic activist

Peter Hallward, PhD, Professor of modern European philosophy, author and civic activist

Staughton Craig Lynd, PhD, Academic, author and civic activist, co-editor Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History

Alice Nyles Lynd, Attorney, author and civic activist, co-editor Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History

Bret Gustafson, PhD, Professor of anthropology, author and civic activist

Gavin Fridell, PhD, Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University, author, civic activist

Jeb Sprague, PhD, Lecturer in Sociology, author, civic activist

Susan Spronk, PhD, Professor of international development and global studies, author and civic activist

John Kirk, PhD, Professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, author and civic activist

Francisco Dominguez, PhD, Senior lecturer and head of the Latin American Studies Research Group at Middlesex University, author and civic activist

Barbara Epstein, PhD, Professor of history of consciousness, author and civic activist

Cielo E. Rusinque Urrego, Attorney specializing in constitutional law, masters’ degree in political studies and PhD candidate (constitutional law) at the Universidad Paris II Panthéon Assas

John Beverley, Emeritus Distinguished. Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh

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Guillermo Calvo Mahé

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia.