Venezuela urges UN action for US visa denial

Venezuela urges UN action for US visa denial
Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:53:22

Venezuela has lodged a protest to the UN general-secretary over American refusal to issue visas for some members of its delegation to the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

In an official letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Samuel Moncada calls on the UN chief to take appropriate measure in response to the visa denials, which the Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura has described as an attempt to “create logistical obstacles to impede” his next week’s New York visit to take part in the annual UN event.

Through the letter, Venezuela further urges the UN to “demand that the government of the US abide by its international obligations” as host of the 68th UN General Assembly. 

The development comes after President Maduro first raised the issue of the apparent denial of visas to members of his country’s delegation on Thursday, saying that “we are not traveling to New York as tourists on vacation…we are going to a UN function. I cannot accept that they have denied a visa to Major General Wilmer Barrientos” and indicated a similar situation for another member of his cabinet.

Tension between Washington and Caracas intensified on Thursday when Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told media outlets that the US denied the presidential plane carrying Maduro entrance into its airspace. The aircraft was en route to China. Washington later granted the approval, claiming that Venezuela’s request had not been properly submitted. Jaua had denounced the move as “an act of aggression.”

Citing the incident, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Thursday that he will take legal action against the US government for crimes against humanity.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” Morales said Thursday at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

The Bolivian president also suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure, he said he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly. Members of the alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,” Morales emphasized.


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