Jorge Arreaza: UN Press Conference on the Situation in Venezuela

Press conference by H.E. Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on the situation in Venezuela.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, today (25 Apr) said, it was “time to launch a campaign” to denounce “the devastating effects of the unilateral, illegal, and arbitrary blockade that the government of the United States has imposed on Venezuela.”

Speaking to reporters in New York, Arreaza said, “the Security Council did not make any decision to sanction Venezuela, or have they? None. So, how can the United States say they sanction, and actually sanction our country with an unjust blockade without following the procedures established in this Charter, which we should all respect. Because the United States is a member of the United Nations or are they not?”

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister explained the difficulties the government is having in complying with their obligations because of the sanctions. He said, “do you know the cost of paying the salaries of our staff at the United Nations, or in Canada, or in Europe? We owe them five of six months of salary. Is it that we don’t have the money? Yes, we do. But it is blocked. And a correspondent bank kept the money. From one day to the next they take your money and they do not return it.”

Regarding the arrival of a Russian military plane in Caracas, Arreaza said, “they arrived on a plane specifically to train our people on how to use their equipment, their helicopters, their weapon systems, with more precision. And they are in Venezuela, but, my god, that is not a contingent as they say.”

He said Venezuela has “a great alliance with Russia,” but noted that “these days the United States is conducting military exercises with Venezuela’s neighbouring countries. And they did so recently in the Colombian Caribbean, they did it in the Amazon.”

Arreaza asked “how many bases does the United States have in Latin America? How many bases do they have in Colombia? How many bases do they have around the world? How many clandestine torture centres does the CIA have around the world? How many countries do they control based on the presence of US military bases? How can they even question that Venezuela could have military relations with another country?”