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  • Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91).

    Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91). | Photo: U.S. Navy

Published 16 July 2020
Opinion

The Southcom said that its destroyer was carrying out a "freedom of navigation operation."

Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza Thursday denounced to the international community that the USS Pinckney (DDG-91) warship sneaked into the "contiguous zone" of this South American country.

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"It is an inexcusable act of provocation that aims to undermine our sovereignty and territorial integrity," Arreaza tweeted.

He also stressed that this act of "erratic and childish" provocation is framed in President Donald Trump's attempts to attract the conservative Latino vote in the state of Florida through permanent aggression against Venezuela.

The Bolivarian institutions and National Armed Force "will enforce Venezuela's sacred sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs under international law, contemplating all the actions it deems necessary, without falling preposterous provocations intended to affect the peace and tranquility of Venezuelans and Latin Americans," Arreaza stressed.

On July 15, the Southern Command announced that the USS Pinckney (DDG 91) had entered the Venezuelan "contiguous zone".

In international law, this space is the extent of the sea that ranges from 12 to 24 nautical miles from the baseline from which the width of the territorial sea is measured.

This arbitrary incursion was justified by the Southcom alleging that its guided-missile destroyer was carrying out a "freedom of navigation operation in the Caribbean Sea."

A similar provocation occurred on June 23 when the USS Nitze (DDG 94) sailed near Venezuelan maritime territory.

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