US invokes regional defense treaty in response to Venezuela

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro is no longer recognized as president by the US. (File photo: Reuters)

The US invoked on Wednesday a regional defense treaty in response to “bellicose” Venezuela moves, said the US State Department.

The US, along with ten other countries and the US-backed Interim Government of Venezuela led by Juan Guaido, invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR).

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis. Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, invoked the constitution in January to assume a rival interim presidency after declaring Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election a fraud. Maduro calls Guaido a puppet of the United States and blames Venezuela’s severe economic problems on US sanctions meant to force him from office.

“This Venezuelan-led request is proof of the region’s support for the Venezuelan people and recognition of the increasingly destabilizing influence that the former regime of Nicolas Maduro is having on the region,” said the state department in a statement announcing the invocation of the treaty.

Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia said on Monday that it would tell the UN that Venezuela is harboring terrorists.

On Sunday a group of guards from Syria reportedly arrived in Venezuela to operate as a security team for a Venezuela politician, who is among the most wanted in the US for drug trafficking.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00