News Release

Warnings of Venezuela Becoming U.S. Puppet from Honduras Expert

ADRIENNE PINE, pine at american.edu,              @adriennepine
Assistant professor of anthropology at American University, Pine was one of the final four embassy protectors in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. She was arrested on Thursday morning after the government broke into the embassy; she was released on Friday afternoon. She participated in protests outside the Venezuelan embassy and White House this weekend.

She had an article published just as she was arrested: “An Academic Arrested for Protecting the Venezuela Embassy.” Pine wrote: “As an anthropologist who has researched and published on Honduras for over 20 years, I have witnessed and lived firsthand the devastating consequences of the U.S.-based coup in that country. That coup, like the one that is being attempted in Venezuela, was plotted by a small group of wealthy elites with the principal aims of privatizing the public sector for their own financial gain, tightening their control over the thriving illegal drug trade, and deregulating and capturing for themselves and their foreign allies the profits of the lucrative extractive sector. …

“The vast increase in political violence there is a direct consequence of U.S. intervention in support of the usurpation of electoral and other forms of democratic participation. Above and beyond the political violence used by the Honduran regime to maintain its power, the coup paved the way for immeasurable increases in everyday forms of violence. The destruction of the public health and education systems by the coup-installed neoliberal regime has left Hondurans without those options and while members of the resistance movement are murdered and jailed, organized criminals — from neighborhood gang members to the most powerful politicians in the nation — continue to enjoy impunity.

“These conditions — all tracing back to the U.S.-backed coup — are the immediate root cause of the great migration taking place right now. Honduran families are risking their lives to leave their homes, because staying is even more dangerous than making the journey to the United States, where they face family separation and imprisonment in border concentration camps.”

See AP piece from December: “U.S. charges Honduran president’s brother with drug conspiracy.” Last year AP reported that the Honduran police chief was dealing in illegal drugs and the Honduran government took action — against the AP reporters. When questioned about this by Sam Husseini of IPA last year, State Department officials referred questions back to the Honduran government. See: “Honduras’ national police chief helped cartel move 1,700 lbs. of cocaine, report says.”

Also see recent report: “Violence, poverty reign in Honduran city where caravans form.” And last month from the BBC: “Honduras protests: Buildings burn during clashes” about protests by doctors and teachers against proposed government privatization of services.

Pine also highlights the role of Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s “special envoy” on Venezuela, see IPA news release: “Will Elliott Abrams, Abettor of Genocide,’ do to Venezuela What he did to Guatemala?