21 nov. 2009

Venezuela rejects U.S. offer to mediate in crisis with Colombia

The Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in connection with the recent statements by officials of the United States's government over their "interest in promoting stability and dialogue" between Colombia and Venezuela, would like to recall that the installation of military bases under the unrestricted control of the United States in Colombia constitutes the source of a situation of instability and regional concerns.

The disproportionate U.S. military deployment on Colombian soil, tries to justify to the government of Colombia as a bilateral effort to combat drug trafficking and terrorism. These arguments are false and do not dissipate the doubts and concerns that the countries of the South American region has on these military bases, perceived in terms of threats due to the magnitude of the program that will be implemented with the installation of equipment for electronic warfare, intelligence work, military officers and personnel of security contractor companies.

The strengthening of the military presence from the United States is geared to project their global power to deter, under the threat of military operations, to countries that, as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, maintain a critical position in relation to their imperialist policies. In this strategy, the Palanquero base will have a strategic importance role, since it could serve as a scale for out-of Colombian territory missions. Venezuela wishes to draw attention on that while the text of the "Supplementary Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defense and Security" does not cover operations in third countries, it neither explicitly prohibits them.

The concern of Venezuela on considering as a serious threat the presence of these bases in Colombian territory under the unrestricted control of the U.S., has strong foundations in the most recent violations of international law carried out by Colombia and the United States.

In the case of the government of Álvaro Uribe, to have illegally attacked the territory of the Republic of Ecuador in March 2008, was violated paragraph 4 of Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, under which the States, in their international relations, shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any other State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

For its part the United States, with the war in Iraq, violated resolution 1441 (2002) of the Security Council. This resolution established a rigorous inspections regime that strengthened the authority of the Committee on Monitoring, Verification and Inspection of the United Nations (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The resolution did not authorized the use of force in case of violation by Iraq, the United States have violated the United Nations Charter by launching military action without the approval of the Security Council.

These illegal actions contrary to the writings and spirit of the United Nations Charter, and the rules that forbid the use of force in international relations, very recently violated by Colombia and the United States, justify the concern of the South American countries by an exaggerated operational and defensive capability and a clear cession of responsibilities of the own State of Colombia to the United States by the administration of President Álvaro Uribe.

While the administration of President Barack Obama has publicly stated its commitment to respect international law and multilateralism, the Venezuelan concern is strengthened by the fact that this administration continues repeatedly violating Resolution 1373 (2001) of the Security Council, which prevents the States to provide refuge to those who commit terrorist acts and prohibits the denial of requests for extradition of terrorists for political reasons. This country has breached the provisions of the Extradition Treaty with Venezuela by refusing, through legal subterfuges, to extradite the notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

Given this real situation of threat to stability in the region by the U.S. government's, the proposal to mediate has a clear intention to divert attention from their primary responsibility in the crisis and is rude in the eyes of the aware peoples in the world.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates its blunt rejection of the installation of the said U.S. military bases on Colombian soil, and their willingness to continue the debate within the UNASUR on the difficult regional situation generated by the governments in Washington and Bogota when signing the "Supplementary Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defense and Security."

Venezuela believes that if the United States has a real interest in collaborating to promote dialogue and regional stability, they must desist from their intention to make Colombia into the hub of their regional strategy of domination. and control over the countries of South America.

Caracas, November 17, 2009