March 09. 2009
Interesting exchange on my Sunday column on the microphone war between Colombia and the Venezuela-Ecuador alliance, and the fact that Colombia now has computer files that it could use at any time to demand United Nations sanctions against Venezuela and Ecuador for violating U.N. Security Council anti-terrorism resolutions. Here is former Amb. Diego Arria's entry:
"As a former Representative of Venezuela before the United Nations and to the UN Security Council, and until last year Assistant Secretary General as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General, allow me to address Mr. Richard Cheesman specific comment : “Even if Ecuador and Venezuela had provided material support for the FARC it would not be a violation of the UN resolution outlawing material support for terrorism- as the liar Mr. Oppenheimer suggests. The UN does not have FARC on its list of terrorist organisations and the US empire doesn't have the right to put it on the list for them”
1.Regardless of the UN list-which exists-the crimes committed by FARC are considered crimes against humanity and as such could prompt the UN Security Council Commission to include them in their list-and of course could allow the Security Council to act-if such acts proved to be a threat to the international peace and security.
2. Cooperating with an organization like FARC that kidnap, torture and assassinate people represent clear violations of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 regarding the duties of the states on this matter, as well as the Inter American Convention that considers that terrorism represents a serious threat to democratic values and reaffirms among others: the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 17, 1979; the International Conventions for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 15, 1997; for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1999.
3. The UN Security Council Resolution does not cite any list-nor needs any list to act. The resolution “Expresses the Security Council to take all necessary steps in order to ensure the full implementation of this resolution, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter”
4. Furthermore the Resolution cites only "entities or persons involved in terrorists acts". Does not mentions lists because it does not need lists to act. The resolution defines acts of terrorism (see below) like the obligation to deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens. It is now public that Ecuador and Venezuela cooperated with the FARC by providing them finance (Venezuela) safe havens from which to commit terrorist acts (Ecuador and not yet documented Venezuela as well) .
5. Moreover the UN Security Resolution reaffirms: the inherent right of individual (Colombia in this case) or collective self-defence as recognized by the Charter of the United Nations as reiterated in resolution 1368 and reaffirms the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,
6. Acting under Chapter VII (**see below) of the Charter of the United Nations, all States shall: (a) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists; (b) Take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, including by provision of early warning to other States by exchange of information; (c) Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens; (d) Prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories for those purposes . It is clear that both Venezuela and Ecuador violated those duties.
**Chapter VII sets out the UN Security Council's powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take military and nonmilitary action to "restore international peace and security". Diego E. Arria