ALBA and Others Condemn Armed Assault on Venezuela's Diplomatic Residence in Libya
On Wednesday Venezuela's ambassador in Libya denounced the looting of his official residence by armed men, calling the assault "a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty" by "NATO itself." The governments of Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, among other ALBA nations, denounced the violent attack as a "breach of international law," as did Venezuela's ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV).
Speaking to TeleSUR on Wednesday, Venezuelan Ambassador to Libya Afif Tajeldine explained that "a group of armed men" had shot their way in to the official residence, "began searching the house and asking for me," before "looting all things, including the vehicles, the entire house, leaving nothing in the residence and shooting in the air as they left."
"This is an act that violates international law, since this site is part of our territory, Venezuelan territory, which they must respect as such," said the ambassador.
This breach of international law, affirmed Tajeldine, "was carried out by armed groups supported by NATO, leading us to consider it a violation, by NATO itself, of our sovereignty."
Venezuela's Tajeldine pointed out that it was the official residence, and not the embassy, that had suffered yesterday's attacks, clarifying conflicting reports including comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that the country's embassy had been ransacked.
"At the embassy itself nothing has yet occurred," he said.
Condemnation of the Armed Assault
In response to the attack on the diplomatic residence, the countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) released a statement "deploring" what they called another "violation of international law," caused by the "the illegal military aggression by NATO governments and their allies."
"The countries of the Bolivarian Alliance congregate votes so that this important African country (Libya) recovers the road to peace and harmony and so that the internal conflict in Libya find a political solution that preserves its sovereignty and territorial integrity," read the statement.
The governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines all signed the condemnation.
In Argentina on Thursday, the countries meeting at the Forum for Cooperation between Latin American and East Asia (FOCALAE) added their collective "condemnation" of the armed assault, calling it "a clear violation of the principles of international law."
Venezuelan Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Temir Porras, present at this week's FOCALAE summit, thanked his colleagues for the "show of solidarity" and said that the importance of the collective statement was that it "denounced the chaos sowed in Tripoli by these armed groups."
Venezuela's ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the largest party in the country with some seven million members, also denounced the attack.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, International Affairs Secretary of the PSUV Rodrigo Cabezas denounced the attack on Venezuela's representatives in Libya within the context of NATO's war on Libya.
"That country (Libya), and our country (Venezuela), are members of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) and we know that we will always face the transnational threat, the imperial outlook, because we are oil nations."
Cabezas went on to affirm that the PSUV "demands compliance with international law as it relates to the Venezuelan embassy in Libya, and that our representatives in that country be given immunity."
Cabezas explained that since NATO first began bombing Libya in March 2011, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "had formulated proposals to the world with respect to finding peaceful alternatives, based on dialogue, a negotiated settlement of the conflicts that exist among the Libyan people."
On Wednesday, Venezuela's Chavez said NATO and its allies "are demolishing the country [Libya] for the entire world to see, cutting it into pieces" and affirmed that Venezuela had "fulfilled its moral commitment by denouncing [the NATO war] from the very first day."
"Independent of the internal situation in Libya," said Chavez, "nothing justifies this outrageous act, a disregard for the world, a threat towards the entire world."
"They have torn apart a country, and it wasn't Gadafi who did it. They have set the country ablaze, and it wasn't Gadafi who did it - no, it was precisely imperial madness and capitalism's global crisis who did it," said Chavez.
Reports estimate that recent NATO bombings of the Libyan capital have resulted in over 2,000 deaths in Tripoli alone, with the total number of dead expected to rise.
Chavez said he was concerned that the "tragedy in Libya has just begun" as rumors spread about a possible ground invasion by NATO special forces.
[Source: By Julio Reardon, Venezuelaanalysis.com, San Francisco, 25Aug11]
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