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Venezuela “ready” to defend itself (minister)

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Venezuela said Friday it was “ready” to defend itself after several US states, including the United States, activated a previous treaty that would legalize military intervention against Caracas.

“We are ready to protect ourselves, we are ready to confront. We will not allow anyone to trample our soil,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arias told a news conference after meeting UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet in Geneva.

“I assure you that we will not attack any brother country … under any circumstances except to defend our people and our territorial integrity.”

On Wednesday, the United States activated the Treaty on Mutual Cooperation among American States, also known as the Rio Treaty, and includes ten other countries on the American continent, in addition to the Venezuelan opposition that applied to activate the treaty.

Washington said the activation was in response to Venezuela’s military exercises along the border with Colombia ordered by President Nicolas Maduro, who accuses his neighbor of seeking to “ignite conflict.”

“The soldiers cannot be a provocation,” Ariasa told reporters in Geneva. “Military exercises are just a way to protect ourselves.”

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