ANTIGUA AND BABRBUDA ROUNDLY CONDEMNS INVOCATION OF RIO TREATY IN PRETEXT FOR INVASION

Minister of Foreign Affairs, E.P. Chet Greene, has roundly condemned the action by 10 governments and the impostor representative of Juan Guaido to open the possibility of military invasion of Venezuela.

This action was taken on Wednesday, September 9 during a session of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) from which 17 of its legitimate member states were excluded, and in which the representative of the self-appointed Interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, participated.

The ten governments and Juan Gauido’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 5 signatory countries that opposed the resolution.

Minister Greene stated that “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”.

“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”, the Minister said.

Noting that Trinidad and Tobago abstained in the vote on the resolution and that the Bahamas was absent, Minster Greene stated that “Antigua and Barbuda is deeply concerned that Haiti, a member state of CARICOM, voted to open the door to invasion of a country, particularly since Haiti itself is a victim of an invasion from which it has never recovered”.

“Standing for international law and the peaceful settlement of issues, small though we are, Antigua and Barbuda, will raise its voice in every international forum against this dangerous action”, the Minister said.

Note to Editors: The signatory countries that invoked the Rio Treaty are: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and the United States of America (10) and the usurper representatives of Juan Guaido.

Signatory countries that did not support the Resolution are: Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago. The Bahamas was absent.

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