Maduro lashed out yesterday against the National Assembly’s resolution to re-join the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR, in Spanish), a hemispheric mutual defense agreement. The opposition-led legislature voted to re-join the TIAR this past Tuesday, stoking expectations that they would next ask the treaty’s members–namely the United States–to intervene militarily in Venezuela.

Venezuela was one of the original signatories of the treaty, which was created in 1948 by the United States as a way to check communist expansion in Latin America. Venezuela formally left TIAR in 2013.

Speaking during a televised event from the Fuerte Tiuna military base in Caracas, Maduro referenced the fact that the National Assembly held its Tuesday vote on the TIAR motion outdoors, saying:

[The National Assembly resolution to re-join TIAR] was a comedy act held outdoors. They announced that they had approved TIAR [sic], and that that was the first step towards calling for an invasion of Venezuela by foreign armies. This was an illegal act, an unconstitutional act, and–as [Minister of Defense] Vladimir Padrino Lopez said–a decadent act.

Maduro also accused the opposition deputies who voted in favour of the motion traitors:

How can we call this? Treason against the homeland. They’re turncoats. As if Venezuela had no one to love and defend her.

Maduro went on to argue that the threat claimed by the National Assembly necessitated the enrollment of 4 million militia fighters to beat back any invasion of Venezuela. He said:

This is why the Bolivarian Militia has to get ready, because we will not give up, ever, the offensive capabilities of our actions [sic]. If we are ever attacked, we will look for the imperialists wherever they are.

At the same time, Maduro appeared to suggest his belief that peace would reign in Venezuela thanks to his leadership, saying:

Thankfully, we have the rule of law in Venezuela and that’s why we have peace and justice. That’s why there’s peace, justice, and democracy in Venezuela.

On the opposition deputies who might continue to legislate in a way that he does not approve of, Maduro said:

[SEBIN Director] Gonzales Lopez’s truck is there… his truck is going around looking for the criminals who want Venezuela to be invaded. Justice! Justice!

FAO Chief: 21.2 Million Venezuelans “Going Hungry”

José Graziano da Silva, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization sat down for an interview with DW about the food situation in Venezuela, calling it “vertiginous”.

According to da Silva, Venezuela made great strides in reducing hunger between 2000 and 2012, but that “it wasn’t only Venezuela” who performed well during that period of time: 72 other countries around the world posted similar results during the same period. However, da Silva said, the number of people in Venezuela living without adequate access to food today far surpasses that of the year 2012. He said:

That year [2012] Venezuela had 3.6 million people in a situation of food insecurity. Today, our estimate is that 21.2 million people in Venezuela are going hungry.

da Silva also pointed out that Venezuela represents “the worst case” of food insecurity in Latin America.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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