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Venezuela Informs UNASUR of Weapons Agreement

On Tuesday, the Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Minister of People’s Power for Defense, Ramon Carrizales Rengifo, affirmed from Quito, Ecuador that Venezuela is ready to transparently inform the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) about its Russian weapons purchases.

“We have a constitutional obligation to protect ourselves. We have acquired armaments that are entirely defensive,” he told the press during the regional bloc’s ministerial meeting in the Ecuadorian capital, according to Telesur.

The minister emphasized, “We have no problem releasing all the information and details to UNASUR, because trust begins with transparency.”

During the meeting, the twelve defense ministers and representatives analyzed the scope and ramifications of seven military bases that Colombia will put at the disposal of U.S. military forces.
The bloc’s countries did not only discuss the information in the bilateral accords, military bases, armaments and budgets, but also committed to a common code of ethics based on principles of independence, self-determination, nonaggression, and the utmost respect for the national territory of each nation. 

U.S. Request has no Pretext

Concerning the call from U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, asking Venezuela to be “transparent” in its arms purchase from Russia, the Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, indicated that the request “has no political or moral pretext.”

In this sense, the minister pointed out that the U.S. plans to use seven military bases in Colombia. “The U.S. maintains simultaneous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and besides that invests in the development of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear warheads and spy planes; it is the North American government that invests billions upon billions in weapons.”

Regarding the recent acquisition of weapons, the minister said that Venezuela is adapting to new threats posed by the use of seven military  bases in Colombia by the US armed forces. He explained that Venezuela has the sovereign right to defend its territory and to modernize its weapons system to allow a new doctrine of national defense.

Bolivarian News Agency, Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / September 16, 2009

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