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The Struggle Continues: Activists Protect Venezuelan Embassy From US Invasion

The Struggle Continues: Activists Protect Venezuelan Embassy From US Invasion
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by John Kiriakou, co-host of Loud and Clear on Sputnik Radio.

The Embassy Protection Collective is a group of activists who are residing at the Venezuelan Embassy 24 hours a day at the invitation of diplomatic staff. They've labeled the Trump administration's attempts to replace Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a coup and an illegal act in contravention of international norms. Embassy staff are calling the Americans staying there Colectivos por la Paz (Collectives for Peace).

One of the activists involved in the protest is Sputnik's own John Kiriakou, co-host of Loud and Clear. He will be speaking Wednesday night at the embassy in Georgetown about the CIA's involvement in regime change. Embassies of foreign nations are considered sovereign territory under the Geneva Conventions. The US government would be acting in contravention of international law if it entered another sovereign country's embassy and replaced its diplomats with those having no legal standing under the Geneva Conventions. Why is Thursday such an important day?

On Monday the US announced that, in a bid to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero, it would on May 2 end US sanctions waivers that countries such as India, China, South Korea and Turkey currently have on buying Iranian crude. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would be willing to negotiate with the US if it reverses economic sanctions and apologizes for its "illegal" actions, according to official media outlets. Is there a message behind Rouhani's statement?

The gruesome killing of James Byrd, a 49-year-old African American man, in 1998 seemed to hark back to an era of lynchings and racially motivated slayings across the South. The trials of the three white men charged with the crime drew wide attention to Jasper, a town of about 7,500 in East Texas, just a short drive from the state's boundary with Louisiana. Texas officials announced this week that one of Byrd's killers, John William King, 44, will be executed Wednesday night, two decades after being convicted. If King is executed, it will make him the fourth person executed this year in the United States, and it would be one of the final legal steps in a case that has prompted a national discussion about hate crime legislation. But will it provide closure in a case that remains painful 20 years later?


John Kiriakou — Co-host of Loud and Clear on Radio Sputnik.

Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."

Gary Bledsoe — Distinguished Austin lawyer, president of the Texas NAACP and acting dean of Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Eddie Hopkins — Head of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation in Texas.

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