ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Tuesday June 05, 2012 | Update
 
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OAS ASSEMBLY

ALBA countries pull out of hemispheric mutual defense agreement

Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela agreed to leave the hemispheric defense agreement

Delegates of the American countries are meeting in Bolivia (AP)
EL UNIVERSAL
Tuesday June 05, 2012  04:57 PM

Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela agreed on Tuesday in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya to withdraw from the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty), a hemispheric agreement on defense, said Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

The decision of the four member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) came amid their criticism of the Inter-American human rights system and the Organization of American States (OAS) itself. The ALBA member countries regard them as bodies under the tutelage of Washington.

The Ecuadorian foreign minister said that this decision is official, as the four countries signed a document denouncing the Rio Treaty.

In February, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had already called for the ALBA bloc to withdrawn from the Rio Treaty, claiming that the body was "pulverized" by the US during the war in the Falklands archipelago.

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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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