Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States of AmericaWashington DC, 20007
Report of the US State Department Counterterrorism Office is Inconsistent Regarding Venezuela
CONTACT: Andres Izarra, Press Counselor
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wishes to call the attention of the public to the inaccuracies included in the U.S. State Department’s Counter-Terrorism Office report regarding Venezuela, published Thursday April 29, 2004:
- The report recognizes only one small part of the effort that Venezuela is making against terrorism in our territory. This effort includes the arrest of individuals wanted in Spain for involvement in terrorist acts and Venezuela’s adherence to diverse legal mechanisms and international treaties against terrorism.
- Rejecting the unilateral military actions of the United States does not mean that Venezuela or any other country that is against the military action in Iraq, is being delinquent in the fight against terrorism. Support for all of the actions that the U.S. government -- or any other government --takes against terrorism simply cannot be considered a prerequisite for cooperation in the fight against the scourge we collectively face. Venezuela does not reject, and has never rejected, greater collaboration with any country, including the United States, in the fight against terrorism, so long as such efforts remain within the framework of International Law. It is not the view of Venezuela that the desire to cooperate with the United States, according to the State Department, has been “diminished or obscured.” On the contrary, we are open to continue developing such cooperation.
- Venezuela is actively guarding the integrity of our borders in the interest of national security. We have invested significant economic resources to maintain border integrity, bolstering our military presence along the border, and investing in modernizing our equipment and technology used to secure it. Colombia’s internal conflict, has led to scores of Venezuelan casualties at the hands of irregular Colombian forces, including paramilitary groups that are active in that country. Venezuela opposes and directly seeks to stop the trafficking of arms. The difficulty of doing so is not insurmountable, but should not go unnoticed. We have the challenge of maintaining the integrity of a border region of more than 2000 kilometers.
- It is inconceivable that a country, like the United States, with the most advanced technological resources, and one of the most powerful intelligence services on the planet, relies for its official reportage on “unconfirmed press reports” for its criticism of another sovereign state. This practice is, in the end, counterproductive to good bilateral relations and cooperation in a common struggle—the fight against terrorism, and against the drug trade. Venezuela nonetheless remains committed to continue consultations with our technical and professional counterparts in the United States to ensure the realization of a productive and cooperative relationship between our two nations. TODAY, we call for a special dialogue between our two countries in each of these areas so that there is an understanding of the desire of each to correct any and all existing problems, as well as any and all misperceptions.