Back in April and May of this year, a group of as many as 50 people calling themselves the Embassy Protection Collective had been occupying the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. in order to keep the many supporters of Juan Guido out of it. The group had the support and encouragement of VZ President Nicolas Maduro to do so.
A number of people, among them Blumenthal brought food, medicine, sanitary supplies, and so on they’d toss up into open windows, in aid of breaking the siege of Guaido supporters trying to starve them out of the embassy.
Wsws.org had reported on May 16 that:
“…hundreds of armed men in battle fatigues and helmets from the US Secret Service, DC Metropolitan Police and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service used battering rams to storm the embassy and evict the protesters.
The Grayzone reporter Anya Parampil and contributing writer Alex Rubenstein were inside the building and embedded with the protesters throughout the occupation. Max Blumenthal was also active on site in supporting the protest and extensively reporting on the events outside the embassy.”
On Oct. 25 Blumenthal was arrested by the police on a five month old warrant that had originally been ‘rejected’ by authorities.
Ben Norton of the Gray Zone reported on Oct. 28:
“A team of DC police officers appeared at Blumenthal’s door at just after 9 AM, demanding entry and threatening to break his door down. A number of officers had taken positions on the side of his home as though they were prepared for a SWAT-style raid.
Blumenthal was hauled into a police van and ultimately taken to DC central jail, where he was held for two days in various cells and cages. He was shackled by his hands and ankles for over five hours in one such cage along with other inmates. His request for a phone call was denied by DC police and corrections officers, effectively denying him access to the outside world.
Blumenthal was informed that he was accused of simple assault by a Venezuelan opposition member. He declared the charge completely baseless.
“This charge is a 100 percent false, fabricated, bogus, untrue, and malicious lie,” Blumenthal declared. “It is clearly part of a campaign of political persecution designed to silence me and the The Grayzone for our factual journalism exposing the deceptions, corruption and violence of the far-right Venezuelan opposition.”
“If the government had at least told me I had a warrant I could have voluntarily surrendered and appeared at my own arraignment. I have nothing to fear because I’m completely innocent of this bogus charge,” Blumenthal stated. “Instead, the federal government essentially enlisted the DC police to SWAT me, ensuring that I would be subjected to an early morning raid and then languish in prison for days without even the ability to call an attorney.”
“The Grayzone reporter Anya Parampil and Alex Rubinstein, a contributor to The Grayzone, were embedded in the embassy with several peace activists.
“According to court documents, Ben Rubinstein, the brother of journalist Alex Rubinstein, also participated in the non-violent and legal food delivery. Rubinstein was arrested over 12 hours later after the food delivery by Secret Service police officers.
He spent 20 hours in jail, alongside Gerry Condon, president of Veterans for Peace, who was arrested after being brutalized by Secret Service officers for attempting to toss a cucumber inside an embassy window.”
Tweeted on May 3:
Kevin Reed of wsws had reported on Oct. 30th:
“Among the reports filed by Blumenthal were coverage of the right-wing activists breaking into and vandalizing the embassy and their destruction of the embassy’s security system, while authorities stood by and did nothing. A critical aspect of the Grayzone’s reporting was the exposure of the coup regime’s “ambassador” to the US, Carlos Vecchio, and his corrupt relationship with the American oil industry along with his role as ringleader for the right-wing mobs attacking the protesters.
It is clear that the latest assault on Max Blumenthal is a continuation of the same overwhelming police force that is aimed at intimidating anyone who opposes the criminality of US imperialism and its extreme right-wing henchmen.”
“Blumenthal was arrested a few hours after the Grayzone published an article on how the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was funding the salaries of Guaidó’s team as they lobbied the American government.”
On Oct. 30, 2019 Joe Emersburger of fair.org had written:
“Blumenthal’s arrest is another example of the legal harassment of US government critics, including WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning–whose plights have similarly been neglected by Western media and NGOs that claim to support press freedom (FAIR.org, 11/3/18, 4/1/19).”
“The lack of coverage of his arrest “is totally consistent with media coverage of the siege of the Venezuelan embassy,” Blumenthal told FAIR. “The violence, racism, sexism of the Venezuelan opposition—none of it was reported in the mainstream US press.” Aside from alternative outlets like Democracy Now! (10/30/19) and the World Socialist Website (10/30/19), one had to turn to Russian state media to find coverage of Blumenthal’s arrest. A Sputnik article (10/30/19) about the case cited damaging exposés Grayzone has published about Guaidó inner circle, one of which recently led to the resignation of right-wing economist Ricardo Hausmann from Guaidó’s shadow administration.”
Also remember that at least 50 nations have recognized CIA Guaido as Interim President, including the US, France, the UK, Spain, and Sweden, as well as a number of VZ’s increasingly right-wing neighbors.
Beyond ludicrous toadying bstards: