On Thrusday, The United States called on the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) before “belligerent” military exercises by the government of Nicolás Maduro on the border with Colombia and after an OAS summoning to its foreign ministers.
Recent belligerent movements of deployment on the border with Colombia by the Venezuelan military as well as the presence of illegal armed groups and terrorist organizations in Venezuelan territory show that Nicolás Maduro is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people, but that his actions threaten the peace and security of Venezuela’s neighbors,”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement activating the TIAR.
Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,200 km border where Maduro ordered military exercises until September 28th with the deployment of some 150,000 troops and a missile system against alleged threats from Bogotá in the context of renewed tensions between the two countries, which broke relations in February.
The government of Colombian President Iván Duque denies any plan against Venezuela and called for “serenity” in the face of escalating tensions.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president by 50 countries, called for the the TIAR, said Pompeo in a statement that was retweeted by President Donald Trump in the early hours of Thursday.
According to the UN, some 3.6 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2016 due to the severe economic crisis that plagues the oil country.
Under the TIAR, also known as the Treaty of Rio, the foreign ministers can take measures ranging from the end of diplomatic relations to the use of the armed force.
On Wednesday, a session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) convened the foreign ministers of the 19 signatory countries of the TIAR to meet in the second half of September to address the “destabilizing impact” of the crisis in Venezuela, which represents a clear threat to peace and security in the hemisphere.