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  • Guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze DDG 94.

    Guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze DDG 94. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Published 24 June 2020
Opinion

Padrino Lopez noted that U.S. actions show a lack of knowledge of international maritime law.

Venezuela’s Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino Lopez Wednesday denounced that the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Nitze (DDG 94) carried out operations 30 miles north of the Venezuelan coast.

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Padrino Lopez mentioned that the U.S. Southern Command Admiral Craig Faller called the destroyer's entry into Venezuelan maritime space a "victory" and justified it as part of a "freedom of navigation operation, contesting an excessive maritime claim by Venezuela."

The Bolivarian Minister rejected that description, noting that Faller’s statements show his ignorance of international maritime law.

"If you dare to carry out acts of law in the sea that corresponds to Venezuela, you will receive a response worthy of our patriots," General Padrino Lopez emphasized and added that "that is stipulated by our Constitution and is the order of the Commander-in-Chief."

"My embrace and appreciation to the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) men and women who carry on their shoulders the victorious heritage of Carabobo. They have the historic task of preserving and defending the sovereignty of the Homeland under any circumstance. Long live the Bolivarian Army!"

Nevertheless, the Bolivarian general stressed that his nation's current priorities are the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the maintenance of peace.

In another example of action contrary to the international community's norms, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday announced that the Trump administration established sanctions against five Iranian ship captains who delivered fuel in Venezuela.

"These captains’ assets will be blocked. Their careers and prospects will suffer from this designation," Pompeo threatened.

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