The government of the United States had the obligation to protect the diplomatic building of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the People’s Power Minister for Foreign Relations, Jorge Arreaza, reiterated on Friday.

In an interview granted to Telesur, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister emphasized that, even in situations of armed conflict, this Convention requires the receiving states to guarantee the safeguarding of the diplomatic headquarters in the event of the rupture of relations.

“We are not and we do not want to be in an armed conflict with anyone, but they had an obligation as we are protecting the building of their old embassy here”, he said.

Even Foreign Minister Arreaza cited Article 45 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that provides: in case of breakdown of diplomatic relations between two States, or if a mission is terminated definitively or temporarily, the receiving State will be forced to respect and protect, even in the case of armed conflict, the premises of the mission as well as its assets and archives.

This international agreement also establishes that the sending State may entrust the custody of the premises of the mission, as well as its assets and files, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State; and the sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and the interests of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State.

In this regard, he reported that the United States has proposed Switzerland as a protective country while Venezuela has raised Turkey.

“The United States has already accepted Switzerland as its protective country, we have no problems, we are waiting for the United States to accept Turkey as the protective country of Venezuela, we exchanged diplomatic notes for the four countries and this situation is carried forward”, he explained.

Respect for international law

The Minister of Foreign Relations affirmed that Venezuela will not respond with reciprocity, an intrinsic principle in international relations, due to respecting international law.

“We believe that violations of international law can not be met with other breaches of international law, we have to respect international law”, he stressed.

On the contrary, he recalled that President Nicolás Maduro has instructed to reinforce the protection in the building that served as the United States Embassy in Caracas until the moment of the rupture of relations between the two countries, announced on January 23 by the president Nicolás Maduro because of the interventionist policy of the White House in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

Minister Arreaza suggested that the Donald Trump government has failed in all its decisions and strategies with Venezuela. However, he ratified the Venezuelan government’s willingness to establish dialogue mechanisms with the US administration on the basis of mutual respect.

“It is time for diplomacy (…) we are ready to return to diplomacy, to sit down to dialogue and respect each other”, he said.

Dialogue with the opposition

During the interview, the Foreign Minister confirmed the rapprochement between delegates of the national Government and spokesmen of the opposition in Norway.

“We are very grateful to the Kingdom of Norway and its government for the effort here in Caracas and then in Oslo where the parties have approached”, he said.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister also expressed willingness to work together with the countries that make up the so-called Lima Group, despite their subordination to the White House’s opinions.

“There are times to always rectify, we will return to the synderesis, we will return to respect international law and Latin America”, he urged.

Colombia and Brazil: two neighbors of Venezuela

The Foreign Minister also ratified the will of the Venezuelan State to keep contributing to the peace process in Colombia, even though the current New Granada’s government is betting on the coup d’état and the destabilization in Venezuela.

“They are obsessed with distracting public opinion from their problems, using Venezuela to do so” he said.

FM Arreaza categorically denied the presence in Venezuelan territory of alleged leaders of the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN).

In the case of Brazil, despite he declared that “we do not have the closest relationship with the federal government”, he confirmed the good communication between the border authorities, which allowed the reestablishment of the border crossing in recent days.

The Minister of Foreign Relations also expressed his willingness to dialogue with his Brazilian counterpart, Ernesto Araújo.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister, in parallel, denounced again the harmful effects of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States on Venezuela.


People’s Power Ministry for Foreign Relations of Venezuela