Statement by Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, during the VTC of UN Security Council members on Venezuela
We thank Under-Secretary-General on political and peacebuilding affairs Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo for the briefing.
I want to indicate from the outset that the situation we are facing today is unfolding around Venezuela, not inside the country, the recent incidents of breach of Venezuela’s sovereignty by foreign agents pose a direct threat to the country’s peace, as well as to regional security and stability. And this situation is a clear violation of the UN Charter. To better illustrate the point of our meeting, I will summarize the facts:
In the first days of May an armed group of at least 60 people entered the sovereign land of Venezuela from the territory of neighboring Colombia on two vessels. 47 of them were arrested. Among them two US citizens, who confessed that their mission was: 1) to train forces in neighboring Colombia for military operations in Venezuela; 2) to take control of an airport in order to secure transportation of President Nicolas Maduro to the United States.
We also know about a contract signed on October 16, 2019, by a deputy to Juan Guaido and the CEO of a US company “Silvercorp” Jordan Goudreau for some 200 million US Dollars. The aim – “to remove current Venezuelan regime”. According to the available information it was to be financed through Venezuelan sovereign funds expropriated by US from Caracas and kept in US banks. After the imposter-president claimed that he has nothing to do with this contract another financial document was published which demanded Juan Guaido to make a down payment of 1.5 million dollars to “Silvercorp”, dated April 28, 2020, just few days prior to the so called “operation Gedeon”.
We would like to question what role neighboring Colombia had in this story. It’s hard to imagine that this clandestine operation that originated on its soil was conducted without any knowledge about it.
US authorities claim that they have nothing to do with this. We would be glad to believe them, but fail to explain that according to the contract two American citizens were planning to take hostage of legitimate Venezuelan President and bring him to the US. For what purpose, may I ask? And how does it correlate with constant all-options-are-on-the-table type messages by US government to Caracas, including the recent announcement of a 15 mln USD bounty for President Maduro? Who else can be behind this mercenary adventure? Nepal – like M.Pompeo once said on another issue?
The facts, provided to the Council by Venezuelan Permanent Representative in his letter of May 13, are self-evident. Fortunately, this invasion was exposed and defused by Venezuelan Armed Forces. As a result, a significant number of fire arms was confiscated, including high-caliber ones, all of which were meant to be used in order to trigger internal chaos and get hold of critical infrastructure and state institutions. This is an act of aggression and it must be condemned.
Venezuelan Government has warned numerous times about preparations for armed attacks and training of paramilitary groups in the neighboring countries. Let me remind that the UN Security Council “condemns any State which persists in permitting or tolerating the recruitment of mercenaries and the provision of facilities to them, with the objective of overthrowing the Governments”. That was a direct quote from the Resolution 239 of 1967, which appears to be grossly violated, as well as the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States, adopted by the General Assembly in 1981.
Unfortunately, United States has a history of treating the whole South America as its “backyard”, in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine mothballed for some time until US Administration decided to give it a second chance. Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba in 1961, overthrowing Salvador Aliende in Chile in 1973 and the 1986 Iran-Contras file in Nicaragua – just to name a few.
Today Venezuela is on the US menu. And our American colleagues don’t even make an effort to deny it. It’s exactly because of this that the recent adventure of “Silvercorp” looms especially alarming. And we can’t forget about the troubling context: the so called “counter-narcotics operation” in the Caribbean (which is in fact a military one) that followed the announcement of the bounty for President Maduro.
So, we want to ask today what is the real aim of the American Navy parade in the Caribbean? Are there more mercenaries “on the ground” in Venezuela? Who is responsible for attacks on Venezuelan critical infrastructure, including electricity networks?
We also hope Washington fully realizes the risks of incidents when deploying USS Lassen, USS Preble and USS Farragut in an area where Iranian oil tankers are involved in legal activity near Venezuela.
I also want to use this opportunity and ask a question to our European colleagues who hastily recognized imposter-president two years ago. How do you see his role now, once his role in this attempted coup d’etat (let’s call the things by their names) has become so evident? How can legitimate Venezuelan authorities engage in negotiations with him after this?
The absolute majority of the international community rejects military or subversive actions as an instrument in international relations. We appeal to all participants of today’s discussion to unequivocally condemn the attempt of invasion in Venezuelan sovereign territory. It’s time for all of us to speak in favor of the right of Venezuelans to solve their political disagreements themselves, including their right to choose their own leaders in line with the Constitution of the country.
The Russian Federation will continue to do its utmost to help Venezuelans in this endeavor. We urge everyone to join us and to refrain from dictate, ultimatums and sanctions or coercive measures in regard to this or to any other country.
With this in mind we have prepared a draft Security Council Press Statement to address the above-mentioned issues. It reads as follows:
“The Members of the Security Council discussed the latest developments in and around the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Members of the Security Council rejected the use or threat of use of force, as stipulated in the UN Charter, reaffirmed relevant resolutions on the condemnation of terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations and on the use of mercenaries.
The Members of the Security Council called for the current situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to be resolved through a dialogue by Venezuelans, without interference through peaceful and political means, in line with Chapter VI of the UN Charter, within the framework of its National Constitution and in full respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Venezuela”.
We believe that such a short, politically neutral and concise text will raise no substantial objections by the Council Members. We will distribute it immediately after my statement.