NLG members Susan Scott and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan joined Telesur TV in Venezuela on July 7 as part of an NLG delegation to Venezuela. They discussed Puerto Rico, Greece, and the US relationship with Venezuela.
Both Scott and Bannan are former co-chairs of the International Committee; Bannan is the current President-Elect of the Guild.
Rough unofficial translation follows:
Two U.S. lawyers and activists visited Telesur in Venezuela, to provide testimony to the world that this South American nation is an example of democracy.
Venezuela is a country that is not a threat to the security of any nation, which is obvious everywhere except for the United States (US) which violates human rights in all areas of life, acting as an empire that seeks to dominate other nations, as we currently see with Puerto Rico and its struggle for self-determination.
So analyzed the lawyers and human rights activists, Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan and Susan Scott, during an interview in an afternoon news segment on Telesur, discussing the deep economic and social crisis being faced by the Puerto Rican nation due to cutbacks in social services implemented through US interference to address a public debt of 73 billion dollars, which has proven insurmountable.
Bannan and Scott linked the current situation in Greece to that in Puerto Rico, as despite the vast distance between these nations, both are victims of capitalism and colonization.
“Puerto Rico, like Greece, cannot take any more increased taxes (VAT) or social cuts; these policies are forcing people of both nations into forced migration,” said Bannan.
On the other hand, they stressed that they are part of a delegation witnessing how the legal system in Venezuela operates to support human rights and popular power, calling the unilateral executive order of the US calling the South American nation a threat to its security “a cynical joke.”
“The democratic system of Venezuela is not threatening any nation, but it is a challenge to the political, military and economic issues of the US,” said Bannan.
The activists said that the US always presents an image before the world of being very concerned with and upholding human rights, but “while the government allows their own people to be killed – especially African Americans, robbing them of the right to life,” Bannan said. She said that there is increasingly evident racism and police brutality, accumulated oppression for many years which has created a great outrage among Black people. “It is unjust that in a country the right to life is violated on racial grounds.”
Finally, they called upon President Obama to pardon political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has spent over 34 years behind bars. “He is a struggler, 72 years old, and the only crime he committed was to have fought for the sovereignty of his nation,” they said.