Media Stakeout by H.E. Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the Situation in Venezuela. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced the formation of a new group at the United Nations to defend the “principles of international law” and the rights of peoples to “live in peace, without interference, without interventions, without the threat of the use of force.” Addressing reporters in New York today (14 Feb), Arreaza said the group would coordinate action to defend the UN Charter. This includes: respect for the principles of equal rights of peoples, respect for the sovereign equality of Member States, settling disputes through peaceful means as to never threaten international peace and security, refraining from the threat to use force against any state, respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of states, and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states.
SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Venezuela:
“We all have the right to live without the threat of use of force, and without the application of illegal coercive unilateral measures. In the next few days, we will begin a series of actions, as a group, to raise awareness around the dangers that our peoples currently face, particularly the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We call upon all the Member States of the United Nations to join us in defending international law as the only guarantor of humanity’s peaceful coexistence.”
The Foreign Minister said the group was not only aimed at defending Venezuela. He said it would work in a collective manner in all UN bodies, including the Security Council and the General Assembly, to defend the rights of its peoples.
Arreaza reiterated his call on the media “not to get involved with this show, this spectacle, that the US is organizing” on humanitarian aid to his country. He said the US has blocked the Venezuelan economy costing the country over 30 billion USD and now wants to provide 20 million in “so-called humanitarian aid.” He asked reporters, “So, what is this? I’m choking you. I’m killing you. And then I’m giving you a cookie?”
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister said the US was looking for loyalty from the Venezuelan armed forces, but their loyalty “has already been [proven].” He added that the “momentum of the coup that the government of the United States was promoting is over” and the US now had to rethink its strategy.
Asked about reported movements of US special forces in several Caribbean islands, Arreaza said these events were “dangerous” adding that the US was “playing a new game of psychological warfare, and also trying to besiege and corner” his country.
He stressed that his government would “protect every millimetre of the Venezuelan territory” and would respond to “any situation in a proportional manner to any type of attack against” his country.
In response to a question on the 23 February deadline for humanitarian aid to enter the country given by opposition leader Juan Guiadó, the Foreign Minister said there was only one government in Venezuela, and as such, “no one can give deadlines, especially this man who was self-proclaimed; or who self-proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela in the middle of a street in a demonstration without any constitutional framework to support it.” He said Guiadó “doesn’t have effective control of a police patrol in Venezuela; so, whatever he says is absolutely absurd.”