ALBA countries pull out of hemispheric mutual defense agreement
Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela agreed to leave the hemispheric defense agreement
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In February, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had already called for the ALBA bloc to withdrawn from the Rio Treaty, claiming that the body was "pulverized" by the US during the war in the Falklands archipelago.
Three Venezuelans and five Trinidadians will stand trial on January 26 under the suspicion of being involved in alleged Muslim terrorist activities in Venezuela. After nine months in prison, the defendants will appear in court to face charges of terrorism brought against them by the Attorney General Office.