Statement of the OAS General Secretariat on Russian Military Aircraft with Possible Nuclear Capacity in Venezuela
13 December 2018
A Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic long-range heavy supersonic bomber aircraft is pictured upon landing at Maiquetia International Airport, just north of Caracas, on December 10, 2018 A Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic long-range heavy supersonic bomber aircraft is pictured upon landing at Maiquetia International Airport, just north of Caracas, on December 10, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) takes note with the greatest concern of the news coming from Venezuela about the possibility that aircraft capable of using nuclear weapons from Russia are in its territory. The presence of this foreign military mission violates the Venezuelan Constitution because it has not been authorized by the National Assembly, as required by Article 187, paragraph 11. Therefore, we consider such an act harmful to Venezuelan sovereignty.
Likewise, this action may also be in violation of fundamental norms of international law. Venezuela is a State Party to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean ("Treaty of Tlatelolco"), whose first article prohibits the receipt, storage or possession of nuclear weapons by States party or by third parties in their territory. The adoption of this treaty was a great achievement for Latin America and the Caribbean, which would made us the first region free of nuclear weapons. Its violation is a serious threat to international peace and security.
We urge the bodies established in this agreement to adopt the necessary measures to verify compliance by Venezuela with its obligations, ensure that we are not in the presence of nuclear weapons as defined in Article 5 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and if a violation is found, that both the United Nations and the OAS be immediately informed, as established in Article 21.
Likewise, the General Secretariat observes with extreme concern the participation of military capabilities of extra-regional powers in the Hemisphere outside the constitutional framework of the countries, and far from the transparency and mutual trust that should guide these activities. Such attitudes do not contribute to peace or hemispheric stability, values of the utmost importance to preserve for coexistence in the region.