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CUBA | Antigua and Cuba Condemn OAS Vote to use Military force in Venezuela

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. Venezuela withdrew from the treaty in 2013 together with nations pertaining to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America. | Photo: Reuters Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. Venezuela withdrew from the treaty in 2013 together with nations pertaining to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America. | Photo: Reuters
Cuba has joined the government of Antigua and Barbuda in denouncing an OAS vote to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty (IRAT), that opens the possibility of a military invasion of Venezuela.

 A statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs  says Cuba "strongly rejects its invocation under the pretext of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela being a threat to peace and security in the hemisphere, when in reality, the interventionist Monroe Doctrine implemented by the United States, hostility toward Venezuela, and the use of this treaty for such ends, that endanger the region’s peace and security."

"Once again, the discredited Organization of American States was the vehicle for this outrage, in which an honorable group of nations openly opposed the decision," said the Cuban government.

The statement from the Cuban Foreign  Ministry pointed out that "Invoking the IRAT, which the United States used to justify military interventions and aggression in the region, causing so much pain and death to Latin Americans and Caribbeans, is a deliberate attempt to provoke a situation that could lead to the use of force to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro Moros, in flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace."

"By rejecting this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls upon the governments and peoples of Our America and the world to resolutely oppose this measure that pretends to justify, via an artificial legal framework, intervention in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which is unacceptable," said the Cuban Government

Chet Greene 460The Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister E.P. Chet Greene, condemned last Wednesday's vote  during a session of the Permanent Council of the OAS from which 17 of its legitimate member states were excluded.

Greene said that the council allowed the representative  of Juan Guaidó, the self-appointed Interim president of Venezuela, to participate in the deliberations.

The Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Minister was also critical of Haiti, a CARICOM country that voted in favour of a 72-year-old treaty that would allow for the possible invasion.

CARICOM countries have long called for non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and have not supported any military invasion of the South American country.

The Antigua government statement said that 10 governments and Juan Guaidó’s representative invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, also called the Rio Treaty, under which its signatories authorise themselves to use military force against a country on a pretext of common defence and for the maintenance of the peace and security of the continent.

Only 17 legitimate member states of the OAS are signatories to the 72-year-old treaty, which was created after World War II and which has no relevance in international law today. Of the 17 states, only three CARICOM countries are signatories: The Bahamas, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago.

As a result, 16 OAS member countries, including Antigua and Barbuda ,were excluded from ­voting, alongside five signatory countries that opposed the resolution.

“The invocation of the Rio Treaty is clearly a ruse to use an ­anachronistic treaty to promote an invasion of Venezuela on the pretext of that country’s aggression, even though no evidence of such aggression has been disclosed, nor is there any shred of proof that it is a threat to peace and security in the hemisphere,” Greene said.

“The entire world should be alarmed at this dangerous action, which violates the charters of the United Nations and the Organisation of American States and may result in the heavy loss of life and wrecking of peace in the hemisphere,” he added.

Greene noted that Trinidad and Tobago abstained in the vote on the resolution and that The Bahamas was absent.

The countries that voted for the resolution are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, and the United States of America. The representatives of Juan Guaido also supported the resolution.

Signatory countries that did not support the resolution are Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago.

In the meantime, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza in a statement denounced the intention to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty (IRAT) against Venezuela pushed by a group of governments of the Organization of American States. ​​

"It is painful that countries which were invaded by United States troops and whose peoples were massacred by the application of the TIAR, endorse today a similar crime against a brother country, in a clearly invalid session of the OAS," the statement read.

At the OAS assembly, 12 countries voted in favor of the implementation of an initiative against Venezuela, saying the country represents "a threat to the security of the region," after Colombia accused Venezuela of allegedly protecting armed groups within its territory. 

Venezuela has rejected the accusation and pointed out the lack of evidence, affirming these allegations are just an excuse for military intervention.

The TIAR is an agreement signed in September 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It functions as a mutual mechanism of defense between member countries of the OAS. The treaty was imposed on the region by the United States within the context of the Cold War, with the aim of legitimizing military interventions in Latin America for ideological reasons.

"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela calls on the countries and peoples of the region to firmly reject the ambitions of this small group of countries which is threatening the peace and integrity of the country and the entire continent," the statement reads.

  • Countries: Antigua_Barbuda

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