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Venezuela asks UN to take action against US over visa dispute

Published time: September 20, 2013 23:53
Edited time: September 21, 2013 04:49
AFP Photo / Monika Graff

AFP Photo / Monika Graff

Venezuela has sent a letter to the UN chief asking him to take measures against the United States over the denial of visas for some members of its delegation who are scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.

The letter sent by Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, requests that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon take action in response to the apparent denial of visas, which President Maduro has said seems intended to “create logistical obstacles to impede” next week’s visit. 

Venezuela further requests that the UN “demand that the government of the US abide by its international obligations” as host of the 68th UN General Assembly. 

On Thursday, President Maduro first raised the issue of the apparent denial of visas to members of his country’s delegation, 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 the countries spiked on Thursday when Venezuela’s foreign minister, Elias Jaua, told media outlets that the US denied a plane carrying Maduro entrance into its airspace. The aircraft was en route to China. Washington later granted the approval, stating 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 said he will file a lawsuit 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,” stressed Morales.

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