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1 Mar, 2019 00:07

Genocide survivors demand violent coup master Elliott Abrams' removal from Holocaust museum board

Genocide survivors demand violent coup master Elliott Abrams' removal from Holocaust museum board

A dozen survivors of genocides from the Holocaust to the 1980s' US-backed slaughter in Central America have demanded US diplomat Elliott Abrams be removed from the US Holocaust museum's "Conscience Committee."

"We cannot fathom how Abrams – a proven supporter of some of the world's most nefarious perpetrators of genocide and mass murderers for nearly 40 years – could be a member" of the US Holocaust Memorial Council and Committee on Conscience, they wrote in a letter to the museum on Tuesday, adding that "his presence on that committee and his affiliation with the Museum runs contrary to everything that you and your mission stand for."

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Abrams' resurrection as special envoy to Venezuela by US President Donald Trump "sent shock waves in our communities," the group wrote, spurring them to research what the convicted felon had been up to – at which point they learned about his committee appointment.

"How can the Committee on Conscience prevent future genocides if it has not come to terms with the involvement of one of its own members in supporting such atrocities?" the survivors pleaded, warning they would "take [their] concerns to the broader public" if the Museum did not respond.

Survivors and relatives of those tortured, killed and disappeared under the Guatemalan dictatorship of General Efrain Rios Montt joined relatives of Holocaust victims and survivors of repression in El Salvador in adding their names to the letter. Abrams "unconditionally supported" Montt, whom the Guatemalan courts convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in 2013. Abrams also backed the Salvadoran military government that massacred tens of thousands of people during his tenure in the Reagan administration, as well as the brutal anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua, whom the CIA notoriously funded with the profits of illegal drug trafficking.

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Naming an abettor of convicted war criminals to a "Committee on Conscience" may stretch the bounds of irony, but Abrams was appointed to the Holocaust Memorial's board in 2009 as one of then-President George W. Bush's last acts before leaving office – a fitting quid pro quo, given that Bush's dad pardoned him after he was convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, and Abrams returned the favor by helping George W. Bush wage his devastating war in Iraq.

Trump's appointment of Abrams as special envoy has introduced a whole new generation to the envoy’s ruthless tactics, making the US involvement in Venezuela that much less defensible – including aid trucks that were reportedly loaded with barricade materials and alleged use of agents provocateurs to gin up violence at peaceful protests.

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