Media Center

Press Release

Statement of the OAS General Secretariat

  March 27, 2019

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) expresses its rejection of the uninformed comments of government spokespeople of the Russian Federation, who maliciously disqualify this Organization in order to justify the recent and illegal Russian military incursion into Venezuelan territory.

The General Secretariat wishes to recall that the OAS is a regional organization whose core competency is to ensure peace and security in the region. Established in 1948 as a continuation of a series of institutions and agreements both for the peaceful settlement of disputes and for collective self-defense against external interventions, the OAS has as its first purpose the strengthening of peace and security in the hemisphere (Article 2 of the OAS Charter).

Consistent with that purpose, the same Article 2 of the OAS Charter says the Organization must “achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons” in the region, as well as “promote and consolidate representative democracy.” Article 23 of the Charter expressly provides that “measures adopted for the maintenance of peace and security in accordance with existing treaties do not constitute a violation of the principles set forth in Articles 19 and 21” (that refer to the principle of non-intervention). Therefore, to work to ensure peace and security, to strengthen peace, avoid an arms buildup, wherever it comes from, are essential purposes of the Organization, of which the General Secretariat is the central and permanent organ.

The General Secretariat therefore reiterates its unequivocal rejection of the presence of Russian military personnel and military transport in Venezuelan territory, for lacking the constitutionally required authorization of the National Assembly. These incursions constitute an act harmful to Venezuelan sovereignty and are an instrument of repressive intimidation for the democratic transition led by the interim President Juan Guaidó.

Along the same lines, the General Secretariat wishes to recall that, in accordance with the decisions of the OAS member states in resolutions of the General Assembly and the Permanent Council of the OAS, and the Venezuelan Constitution, the legitimate President of Venezuela is interim President Guaidó. On June 5, 2018, the member states, in a resolution of the OAS General Assembly, declared the openly fraudulent elections of May 2018 illegitimate and on January 10, 2019, in a resolution of the OAS Permanent Council, subsequently declared the government of the usurping dictator Nicolás Maduro illegitimate.

Reference: E-016/19