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US Sails Warship Off Venezuela’s Coastal Waters Citing Treaty Washington Itself Hasn’t Ratified

Sputnik – 02.10.2020

Last week, Caracas accused the United States of being “the greatest threat to world peace and stability” after Washington slapped Venezuela with additional sanctions on senior government officials for doing business with Iran. The US and its allies have been attempting to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically-elected government since early 2018.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has blasted the Pentagon over its decision to sail a guided missile destroyer to his country’s coast.

“Venezuela denounces the erratic and childish provocation by the US Southern Command to send the USS William P Lawrence (DDG-110) Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to within 16.1 nautical miles of our shores,” the foreign minister tweeted, accompanying his post with a formal communique by the Foreign Ministry.

Appealing to the international community, the communique called on other nations to “denounce” the US’s efforts to “intimidate” Caracas via the warship’s deployment.

The communique added that the USS William P Lawrence recognized the authority of the Venezuelan state and responded to radio communications from Venezuelan Navy ships, while claiming that it was “carrying out patrol operations against drug trafficking.”

Calling the US deployment of a warship with long-range missile capability “deeply striking,” the ministry recalled the similar episode which took place in July, when the USS Pinckney destroyer attempted to make what Caracas said was a “stealth incursion” into Venezuelan waters.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that the Venezuelan military is engaged in “systematic and permanent” patrols in Venezuela’s waters as part of its fight “against the scourge of drug trafficking,” and warned that while Caracas would “not fall into absurd provocations that seek to disrupt the peace and security of the Venezuelan peoples and their fellow Caribbean peoples,” it would “guarantee the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, always in accordance with international law.”

The US Navy confirmed Thursday that the USS William P Lawrence had “successfully” carried out a “freedom of navigation operation” off Venezuela’s coast to challenge the country’s “excessive maritime claims in international waters.”

“The illegitimate Maduro regime improperly claims excessive controls over those international waters, which extend three nautical miles beyond the 12-nautical mile territorial sea, a claim that is inconsistent with international law,” the US Navy said, adding that it has similarly “contested Venezuela’s excessive claims” in July.

Venezuela is not a party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which outlines a 12 nautical mile limit to member states’ coastal waters. Nor, ironically, is the United States, which signed the agreement in 1994 but has failed to ratify it in the two and a half decades since then.

In June, the USS Nitze guided missile destroyer carried out a similar ‘freedom of navigation’ mission, prompting Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino to warn that if US warships ever attempted to carry out military operations in Venezuelan waters, they would “receive a forceful response from our armed forces.”

October 2, 2020 - Posted by | Militarism | ,

4 Comments »

  1. Fun and games…not. The US MIC needs to be cut off at the balls and assume its mission of “providing for the common defence.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by roberthstiver | October 2, 2020 | Reply

  2. “The communique added that the USS William P Lawrence recognized the authority of the Venezuelan state and responded to radio communications from Venezuelan Navy ships, while claiming that it was “carrying out patrol operations against drug trafficking.”

    “Recognises the authority of the Venezuelan State”? That is clearly a lie. The USA has been conducting economic sanctions, as well as destabilising the legitimate government of Venezuela for many years (Hugo Chavez??…. Mr Guaido???).

    And, “carrying out patrol operations against drug trafficking”? “Surely they can’t be serious”, given the CIA’s involvement with the World drug trade(Columbia, Cocaine…….Afghanistan, Opium).
    The Military Industrial Complex is the greatest threat to World Peace, today, and has been since WWII.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | October 2, 2020 | Reply

  3. UNCLOS in fact allows a 200-mile limit, originally the demand of several South American countries to block US fishing fleets on the Pacific coast, and as asserted by Canada in 1977 (a neo-colonial zone of 12 plus 188 miles Exclusive Economic Zone it rented out to foreign predators) and numerous other countries.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Tony Seed | October 3, 2020 | Reply


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