Here is the letter that was emailed to WDET:
Joan Cherry Isabella
|Request for a meeting regarding Venezuela coverage|
We are sending you this letter on behalf of several activist organizations operating in the city of Detroit, specifically Moratorium NOW! and the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI). These organizations, working alongside Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA), Detroit 1500 and numerous other community-led organizations have engaged tirelessly in work for the people of Detroit, almost universally underserved by their government and the business interests commanding the city. We struggled directly during the bankruptcy, fighting to ensure that workers would not lose the pensions they had spent years earning through hard work to the donors and financial institutions that ravaged the city. Last year we mobilized a large number of activists to help Detroiters keep their homes, under threat by illegal over-appraisal and taxation. We joined in the Unite Here! strike at the Westin Book Cadillac, where workers won concessions from a major hospitality corporation that had been failing to pay them appropriately for their work. We have held countless demonstrations against imperialism at home and abroad, put on forums and classes to teach the oppressed, sponsored medic collective trainings and helped organize the yearly MLK Day Rally and March for the past 16 years. We stand for the people of Detroit, the people of the working class, and the people of the world in opposition to the violence inflicted upon them by the wealthy ruling class.
We are writing you today because of the misleading, biased and dangerous coverage of the current Venezuelan crisis. Your coverage, and that of NPR which you rebroadcast, has often merely repeated the statements of the U.S. State Department, despite the corrupt history of their leadership and the historic purpose of U.S. interventions in Latin America. U.S. imperialism in Latin America has been endlessly destructive to the people and nations that it reaches, and yet you broadcasted an interview with convicted war criminal and current special envoy Elliot Abrams, without questioning or criticizing his actions. Your coverage, largely, has been built upon obviously false principles: That the statements from the federal government in regards to Venezuela can be trusted; that U.S. Sanctions and the current economic crisis in Venezuela are separate; that there can be any justification for the invasion, or ‘humanitarian’ support for a white supremacist opposition, of Venezuela. Your institution is publicly funded by the people of Detroit and Michigan, who have far more in common with the people of Venezuela than they do with the Oil Tycoons and autocrats who will benefit from this war, and by failing to condemn those elites you are failing the people you have a duty to: the public. We feel, uncompromisingly, that you owe the people who listen to your station the principled truth.
To these ends, we are contacting you to arrange a meeting between our representatives and yourself or your station’s chosen representatives, so that we might discuss and plan for an interview and airtime. We are prepared to discuss and counter the lies of the U.S. Government (whose legitimacy, although highly dubious, your station never questions) and to make a clear, concise, and defensible argument for Venezuela. We want only to speak in defense of the Venezuelan working class, the people who will suffer and die in another needless war if the criminals in Washington get their way.
We look forward to your prompt response,