Venezuela slams regional efforts to invoke Rio treaty


Venezuela denounced efforts to invoke the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty (TIAR), pushed by 12 countries of the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS). ​​ 

“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,” a Wednesday statement of Venezuelan Foreign Affairs read.  

At the OAS assembly on Wednesday, 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.

The OAS Permanent Council then adopted a resolution condemning the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of deputies of Venezuela’s National Assembly during its meeting and reiterated its ”full support to the National Assembly of Venezuela” led by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio later said the U.S. administration led the OAS effort against Venezuela. 

”Today the Trump administration helped lead a meaningful diplomatic effort, at a multi-lateral organization, to invoke the #RioTreaty in response to the crisis created by the #MaduroRegime in #Venezuela,” the Republican lawmaker said. 

In a chilling interventionist remark, Rubio added that the ”pressure on the regime isn’t going away until they go away”.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez in July said the TIAR, better known as the Rio Treaty, is “an instrument of domination and interventionism that goes against independence and sovereignty of peoples” in Latin America.   

What is opposition interest in Rio? 

Opposition-controlled National Assembly (VNA) in Venezuela, in a bid to use it against the Nicolas Maduro government, approved a law to rejoin the Rio Treaty in July that allows asking other treaty members for military aid.

The controversial move came at a time when the pro-opposition Lima group has also called for elections in Venezuela after meetings in Argentina on Wednesday, mounting international pressure on Maduro. 

Despite lacking military and popular support, opposition acts as the legitimate government of Venezuela and Juan Guaido is recognized as its leader by several countries, mainly Western countries that had colonized Venezuela and the South American continent. 

The assembly had formally started in May the procedures to rejoin the Rio Treaty, an international pact which the opposition thinks would give legal ground to regional military action to overthrow elected President Maduro. 

The Rio Treaty was signed in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by a majority of American nations. The NATO-like treaty stipulated that an attack against one member is to be seen as an attack against all other members. 

The pact, which proved helpful during the Cold War era, later lost its pull and meaning, especially after the U.S. supported the U.K. in its war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982. 

Although the U.S. worked hard to revive the treaty after 9/11 attacks in a bid to enlist Latin American nations to join the so-called war on terror, many member nations did not support subsequent U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Mexico left the treaty in 2002, citing the need for a new pact. Caracas also left the treaty in 2012, along with Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

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