tv Discussion on Venezuela CSPAN February 11, 2020 6:28pm-8:02pm EST
go skiing and try to catch an extra day or two as well. gavin: i would love to go skiing and catch an extra day or two oh. thank you jared for coming back. jared: thank you gavin. of next we have the governor of rhode island. >> cspan, your unfiltered view of government. created by cable in 1979 and brought to you today by your television provider. >> the new hampshire primary is today. wash results at candidate speeches starting at 7:30 p.m. eastern live on c-span. cspan.org. listen on the free c-span radio app.
>> officials and latin american scholars talk about the political and humanitarian situation in venezuela. they spoke at an event hosted by the center for strategic and international study. welcome everybody. i'm the director of the initiative of this program. travel issues, s . i would likeo mention that we are mindful that
this is an all-male panel that were doing everything possible to include women in our event. especially when we discussed venezuela, we like to focus on how it affects men and women differently. were discussing today very timely target topic. real treaty, or its initial. for quick background, the united states and nations. rachel response to the crisis in venezuela. on september 23rd, 2019, 15 out of the 19 member countries, voted and agreed in both targeted sanctions on entities with the government of also
pledged to meet again within two months to discuss original measures. the potential applications for the u.s. this is why we are here to walk us through all of these implications unwanted means and how these affect the crisis. this is not only a time issue. their meeting with war leaders. but also because the treaties shed light on what is left. we are ready done so much but these three particularly, key roads, that is what we want to get into. there are two big questions. i want to make sure that every single one in the room, leaves with clarity to those answers to this big question. the first one, what is the real
treaty, and one of the applications in the crisis. the second question is what is different from the treaty, compared to the sanctions on this dramatic measure that we already have in their edging. how does the treaty make our international response differently. we have a great bench, a great panel today. to answer those questions. thank you for joining. you all have your bios with you. i want to thank the investors. thank you for joining us. thank you again for joining and the floor is yours. >> i want to begin by thinking csis, especially in the developments.
it's known in spanish, has become an important tool for you. and international, and keeping the regime. venezuela, in 2012. instrument of the united states. on june 23rd, unless year, the national offer venezuela a operation. since then, we have consultation and implemented solutions aimed at super base. despite these diplomatic achievements, they have escaped, the remain in power. his regime shows --dash it's
the world's largest corporations. we feel the same, about the state boards. they promise to be with lower powers, are now with venezuela. we live in a world where it's mindful of people. weapon iced public opinion and are at the very very lowest. this heaviness, and disinformation were, more efficient than propaganda. [inaudible].
russian links accounts, 90 minutes analysis. in 2019, should the russia in spanish, 100 billion, these outlets spread disinformation in public opinion, government and in one month, russia has access to one tenth of the population, provide them with news and entertainment. ukraine, over the america, which went through hoops, has no moved to social media where anybody can view. however, russia for social,
--dash. [inaudible]. social peace. we have hope that will enable us to focus on the policy. and perhaps it's a means for which insured the regime. gangs and terrorist groups, safe haven, for the so-called revolution. for the people of venezuela especially for those in broader states, and reach areas south. in groups, for protection in the
gangs fight in a war. they don't take into account, this type of work. the possibility of policy, the does not exist in 1947. [inaudible]. in this context, we proceed the regime, but the regions in the treaty. it's a tool, with solutions for new kind of regulatory formants. however, as with any tool, need
to be updated to reflect the referencing. this means that we care about the actual issues we face. open to new ideas. so think outside of the box. by not doing so, the risk is far too great. the results and resources. thank you. >> you had a lot of information. i wrote down key points. there was a lot here. thank you so much. how do you see the pr in the treaty playing in. >> i want to thank you for the invitation here. it is a pleasure for me to join
with you. so my colleagues are here. he has provided some context. i will try to address in very short remarks why it appears to be a valuable tool. with the pressure in obtaining some of these objections in the region. these remarks are centered around three main perceptions. we will address those. this will be during the q&a after we finish. it is fair to say that the new treaty, one of the most
international things. [inaudible]. they have a very bad reputation. in discussions have accurate information on the treaty. it's the perceptions that i mentioned. the first, the real treaty narrowly, and the new treaty has been applied in different situations. since 1948. my colleagues have helped me in putting together a brief summary of different situations in which they have invoked the treaty.
effectively, we can make this regarding this from 1962. [inaudible]. we certainly have to make the disclaimer because of the revolution does actually the uprising. this however never reached, and never actually had leverage and help contain the situation and how to resolve it. not under this umbrella. now the majority situation, refer to specially involving two or more members in the elect states. in this situation the vision of
territory or if it's necessary. in the real treaty been applied, and it involved being under threat. in 1962, involved application of the time. in 1982, the united kingdom of course. in the 911, the situation since 2001, all enacted for law-abiding. [inaudible]. the treaty is a mechanism, mediation of coverage.
perhaps a little awkward. if you looking at the perspective, you will agree. [inaudible]. although it is a measure, you will find the reports of the provisions in the treaty. treating this and vincent venezuela, measures involving the use of force. now the second protection. the most common in the treaty, dated by a product of the cold war, existed or maybe it's not useful now for this tool in the number of states. the real treaty, collective
defense in the conference of the cold war. in reits used in applied like the one in cuba, nonetheless, i mentioned before, the vast majority of the cases where this was applied, to traditional threats involving two or more countries. there is no direct relation to the cold war. if you look at this that i mentioned, reference to the cold war, were more clear, in 1962. so as we see it, can be applied to different situations.
external threats and conflict among the region. ultimate situations, stated in that group. integrity oaggression, or even n by any other situation that might endanger the piece. there is a provision in the treaty. i reflected on this early on. the situation which justifies the petition of the treaty. the 911 terrorist attack, so far from that initiative, we can see the real treaty to be a legal instrument that provided the cold war, to be a very useful
tool. not to conclude. new treaty for adjusting the political crisis in venezuela, we need to be clear. his son designed to put an end regime, nor for the fighters. nor necessarily, force democracy. so what is the role of the real treaty in the venezuela crisis. my humble, the main purpose of the real treaty is to address the threats, the regime and security in the region. consequences of the states in
venezuela. if you look at the migration crisis, but i have to refer to a much more serious situation. free operation, and territory. major concern. [inaudible]. the two resolutions we have adopted in the competition. establish the mechanism to investigate and punish persons responsible for transactional things. the one in september of last year, and through december, they established a network in charge of investigations in these
investigations, they were supposed to bring us on how to deal with the situation in a corrective manner. the real treaty therefore, has measures to address these multinational crisis. it targets what specific and continental divides. the new treaty alone will not restore democracy in venezuela. the real treaty in venezuela, useful tool to prevent regime to continue in the region. number two, legally binding instrument. and allow to apply measures that
could not otherwise be done. like enforcing the travel ban that we have adopted last december that involves regime. the decision to sanction language of the state, and for measure, they cannot. [inaudible]. all of the decisions adopted by disorder, are mandatory in other states. number three. treaty on the table, the redline is not being currently being used as an option.
number four. side effect of the real treaty, to contribute the isolation of international regime. it is proved effective and finally. the treaties combined measures by international communities as a whole, a system of other people trying the best with democracy. >> thank you. i think we put into context what the treaty is with venezuela. now we will talk to her senior advisor. he was ambassador to columbia. what is your thought on this issue. >> i'm not just a senior advisor to csi as, of an uncompensated
senior advisor to csis pretty ladies and gentlemen, you've now had the benefit of hearing from two experts on the matter of the treaty. it is history, applicability. no one is here from when it clearly acknowledges is not an expert. not a lawyer. not familiar with the total history of the rio treaty. not even an extrovert on the organization of american states. but he does have a brain. he is after all from the state of texas and is capable of at least offering some suggestions as to why the rio treaty should be a helpful mechanism or tool, for the western hemisphere and its governments to deal with venezuela crisis. and it will offer six reasons.
after all, if he can offer three, i should be able to offer double that number. [laughter]. is an excellent mechanism for coordination among western hemisphere governments because it is a formal legal mechanism. this group is a superb coordination mechanism but it is a formal grouping. it is not have eagle status is you will, i personally am strongly in favor of the work of the group and equally in favor of cooperations through the rio treaty mechanism. second. it strengthens the positions, the authorities, the credibility of the organization of american states. and on matters in this hemisphere, particularly matters related to venezuela, that is an
important positive thing. the rio treaty in essence, was promulgated and ratified through the oas mechanisms. application of the rio treaty, provides greater strength and greater authority whether moral or legal or simply perceptions, around the world to the oas. third, the rio treaty is an effective mechanism for messaging other international organizations and ngos throughout the world. as to the seriousness with which the nations of the western hemisphere are taking the crisis and the consequences of the crises in venezuela today. those international organizations can be the united
nation and its constituent elements humanitarian, economic, human rights, suborganizations of the united nations. it can also be regional organizations such as the european, union and the african union, the other regional organizations spread around the world and the ngo communities. it would include and incorporate humanitarian ngo, human rights ngos, the economic ngos and all of them, benefit and receive a message when the nation of the western hemisphere talk about their treaty for reciprocal assistance within the hemisphere. fourth. let us be frank. at some point as i have said many times over the last two years, at some point we know how this book ends in venezuela.
innocence, sense, we know how the final chapter ends. but we do not know is how many chapters there will be between now and the end and how long the final chapter will be. the rio treaty serves to some extent as the useful mechanism for talking about, discussing, considering and even preparing for some form of hemispheric multi national role, when the moment arrives that there is some form of transition in venezuela. it could be as a result of an invitation from the government or the interim government in office in venezuela. or it could be by unanimous conclusion within the hemisphere at the situation that has reached such a level that some form of international
cooperation to address this important thing. in the rio treaty would contribute to a number and not organized and carefully coordinated process should the hemisphere reach that conclusion did and fifth. we have talked every single one of us have talked about the humanitarian crisis. the fact that somewhere between five and 6 million venezuelan citizens have left their nation as a refugees, due to the situation at home. and how it is overwhelming, the nations of the western hemisphere that are accepting those refugees and bearing the consequences of those moments. and ladies and gentlemen, if we ever reach the point where we
are with or without invitation a decision is reached collectively to provide to humanitarian assistance, to or within venezuela, the rio treaty is perhaps anymore formal legal mechanism, for both considering and eventually delivering that assistance should that be the decision. and finally i conclude the same way i have concluded also many of my presentations on that venezuela, over the last two years. why do i think the real treaty is a politically effective device or mechanism today. because in my opinion, talking about the rio treaty, and in fact applying specific provisions of the rio treaty, in my humble opinion.
it produced sleepless or at least disturbs slipping evenings, perhaps or for the excellent minister of defense. ... ... ... ... regardless of what happens. the fact that they are worried about it is good, the fact that they have to take that into account as they assess and determine how they will deal with the opposition, how they will deal with the interim constitutional government or president of the republic of venezuela is a good thing. ladies and gentlemen, the rio treaty an extremely complicated
issue through the last, what, 74, 73 years of history in westn hemisphere. i suggest to you that we should not look upon the rio treaty as a treaty and we assess its branches, its leaves and the veins on the leaves. that can take us years and years of discussion. the rio treaty, in my metaphor, is a large forest. walk into that forest, and it will take you in almost any direction you wish to go. of course we must have a clear enough sense and understanding of the trees, their branches, their leaves and the veins on those leaves to know what is permitted or not permitted in the forest. but the forest gives us a multitude of options. let's keep those options open. with that, dr. rendon, i
relinquish the floor. >> thank you.laugh -- [laughter] great. we have a lot of material here to cover. i would like to go to ambassador tarre and ambassador simas. on one hand we have support by russia, iran, china, cuba on the maduro regime. despite that support, maduro is more isolated than ever before, right? we have a regime that is sanctioned, it is a not recognize as a legitimate government by more than 55 countries, and they have legal, economic and diplomatic implications moving forward, and we are foreseeing those playing out every week, every day. but despite that, the minority have found a way to adapt to sanctions and international restrictions. so how, how all of these
describing that the rio treaty has on the table and has had on the table for over 70 years, how these differentiate itself what we have so far? which are, again, sanctions, diplomat you can pressure -- diplomatic, increasing pressure on hama door row, how can be different, maybe more effective to reach a safer if a more positive pows venezuela? -- prosperous venezuela? >> yeah. i agree with ambassador brownfield in the sense that all the possibilities opened by the treaty must be on the table. as ambassador simas saying, the discussions we have in new york
and then in ball that -- balt the ark, the majority around the table were against the use of military force. but what i think is that the military force as it is stated in the treaty is a -- [inaudible] conventional use of military force and what i tried to say in my first intervention is that there is no way of war. the war is not the same today as it was 70 years ago. [inaudible] there is a cyber command. the cyber commanding is acting right now. there is a war. in this cyber command, they are fighting against hackers, against the use of
misinformation about any kind of new pools that are opened by the newest technology in order to have a country. and this kind of war cannot be excluded from -- [inaudible] we have to think about that. it's a new field, but this is, in my sense, is open. the second way that the use of force can be put away is drug traffic. venezuelans right now, one of the most important -- [inaudible] the majority of drug to you rope pa and to united states go through venezuela.
after they leave venezuela, central america and very, very -- [inaudible] therefore, the use of force, of another blockade of drug traffickers, there is very clear information about which ships dock transporters and which not. and it should be very easy to tell our forces to interpret and to block the drugs that came from venezuela. and that's -- [inaudible] because the drug a problem of everyone and for every economy. it's very important because the drugs benefit, the drugs which came from money of the traffic is going to finance troops from the if colombia with --
[inaudible] and from venezuela. international terrorists, namely hezbollah, that take a lot of money out of venezuela and out of drug traffic which come from venezuela. that means that as ambassador say, it's fairly complex. but maybe it's useful if in a fight that it's a very global fight against this kind of irregular -- [inaudible] and that we have to confront in order to preserve freedom and democracy. >> thank you. ambassador simas, anything to add? >> yeah, shortly. thank you. i think ambassador rendon has mentioned very legitimate aspects of the venezuelan crisis that justify apparentlies to the
treaty, collective decisions. and i fully support the approach that the treaty continues to be valid to use in this specific situation. what i would like to address with you is a different element are. there have been several international efforts by different groups of countries that have tried to be helpful and support president guaido and support the democratic transition in venezuela. and not only the -- [inaudible] group, then after that you had the international -- group you have others that have tried to be helpful in demonstrations in venezuela. in different ways have tried to apply pressure and some different ways leverage their
position with venezuela in order to help -- in that country. what i think, to answer your question, what i think makes the use of -- [inaudible] different, if this is a very short answer because, as ambassador brownfield mentioned, this is a legal framework which made the decision taken by the state parties mandatory to all of those who are parties to the treaty. and now we have a very important set of two decisions, two resolutions adopted in -- [inaudible] which have put in effect very effective and coordinated measures to sanction -- with the regime. and i agree, they should be extremely worried about the weight of our action in this regard. >> great, thank you. ambassador brownfield, you mentioned -- [inaudible] probably 98% of this room.
>> i'm going to be honest, 98%. [laughter] >> i'm going to briefly put into context a couple of relevant articles that i think apply to what we're discussing, and i'm going to allow myself to read them out loud. just bear with me, because the language is -- the tools and language is a little wit updated -- little bit updated. article vi, and, please correct many if i'm wrong here, but i believe the meeting of september 19 was on article vi, right? and that's why members of congress agreed to pursue sanctions. article vi rio treaty says if the viability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political dependence of any american state not in the u.s. or in the continent should be affected by an aggression which is not an attack or continental or
intercontinental conflict or. [inaudible] or situation might endanger the peace of america, then the organ of consultation shall meet and discuss what measures should be taken to maintain peace and security in the region, right? i believe that article applies directly to venezuela. we've seen a lot of 5.3 million refugees coming out of venezuela which is affecting colombia, brazil, ecuador, peru in a way the presence of nonstate actors like eln, farc and some ores are increasing -- others are -- the legal mining is creating a devastation in the amazon region. so i believe enough reasons p to argue that venezuela's creating instability and is affecting the peace of the region, right? so that article is where member countries agreed to move
forward. however, and this is coming to you, ambassador brownfield, so be ready. [laughter] article viii is also crucial because article viii -- and, again, bear with me -- for the purpose of this treaty, the measures in which the organ of consultation may agree will comprise one or more of the following: one, recall of chief diplomatic -- breaking of consular relations, four, partial or complete interruption of economic relations or rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, telephonic communications and all of -- [laughter] and then he says and use of armed force. so as ambassador simas said, the use of armed force is not on the table for member countries, but there are a lot of other things
that are on the table that are being discussed that are part of article viii. which of these tools, ambassador brownfield, do you think would be effective to keep helping venezuela on ever seeing the threat of the peace of the region? >> yep. moises, in my opinion the beauty, the charm of the rio treaty is that it is both an ample and yet a flexible document that allows the states party to the treaty to determine which parts of the treaty they choose to apply or enforce, when they will apply or enforce them and even prevents them to change their mind as the situation on the ground changes over time. the importance of the rio treaty, as we have all stated,
you can almost say ad nauseam now, is that it is a legal document and a legal structure. that said, it is not a straitjacket. it does not say once we have invoked the rio treaty, we all must do every single element that is in the treaty. i mean, the drafters of the treaty 75 years ago, i think, were wise enough to indicate these possibilities or options that are permitted or could be implemented under the terms. but it is the state's parties and their representatives, their leaders, their governors that make that determination. you know as well as i do, you more than anyone else in this room, moises, know that i would be comfortable applying a great number of the authorities that are permitted in the rio treaty.
however, since i am not an idiot, i also realize that there are many, many people in this hemisphere, probably at this stage a majority, who believe that some of the potential, some of the authorities that could be potentially applied are not yet ripe for consideration and, certainly, not ripe for application. that is fine. in my opinion, the message for mr. maduro and his government, the message for the other international organizations in the world, the them for governments that are -- the message for governments that are playing as far as this hemisphere is concerned an unhelpful role in venezuela is the following: the rio treaty is now in play. you might if want to read -- you might want to read it if you want to see what options are available to the governments of this hemisphere should we ever reach the point where we feel we
must apply those options. that would be my answer to the question. >> thank you. okay, ambassador tarre -- i want to make sure we have time for q and a. i promise you we will have about 25 minutes for q and a from you, so just be patient. ambassador tarre, one of the things i like about this rio treaty is that it addresses not only a political crisis, it addresses the crisis that is affecting the region, which is in the case in venezuela. that's very important to understand. i mean, some of our friends already -- mention this all the time. to get a solution, you have to have the right diagnostic first, right? the diagnostic, part of the diagnostic is this is a state that is controlled by organized crime and criminal activities and, therefore, any solution that needs to address those issues first, right in -- right?
and that's where i like the rio treaty. it's a mechanism that, a multilateral legal mechanism to address not a political, but a security matter. ambassador brownfield said that humanitarian aid should be a pyrety, right? i -- priority, right? i mean, we have people dying and suffering just because of lack of food. amazing. ambassador tarre, how do you see applying the rio treaty in implementing some sort of humanitarian response to this crisis, and if how that will affect the peace and security moving forward? >> i agree with ambassador brownfield that the treaty is often very large -- [inaudible] and as moises read in the text
of article vi, the main part of this is hemispheric peace. and that's a very wide field for application of the treaty. and article viii the possibility, some of them by name, as a consequence of the tax -- [inaudible] exist anymore. it's communication. and the presentation has to be seen very carefully because the existence of -- in caracas is absolutely necessary for the people who support juan guaido.
we have refugees in -- [inaudible] now place them in jail. therefore, we have to -- in a very smart way. i think is possible and and posts asked in -- moises asked in his question is we have a humanitarian crisis in venezuela. people are starving. there is a problem of lack of medicines. and there are a lot of possibilities of helping venezuelan people, but the maduro regime doesn't allow this a aid to come inside venezuela. how to push the food and medicine inside venezuela. there are ways, possible no-fly zones. that's the use of military
forces, but a nonconventional use of military forces that has to be think about. we have to think about this kind of solution. and i think that most important for this time is to be -- [inaudible] in syria there have been the use of force in order to give food and medicine to people. to starving people, to sick people. and that has not been, in my opinion, discussed length among the states part of the treaty. and i am absolutely open to these kinds of solutions, and there may be many, many more. because i am a lawyer, i may be an old lawyer. i think the -- [inaudible] work very, very good. people who wrote this treaty were very, very smart, and it's
a marvelous -- the tragedy of our times we don't is have -- like this one, canning and we see a lot of -- and we see a lot of legal text that have a lot of holes, a lot of interpretation, a lot of misinterpretation. and the rio treaty is -- [inaudible] is very, very well wrote, and it opens a lot of possibilities inside the legal frame established by the treaty. >> do we have a date for the next meeting, when it's going to happen? >> yes. around march 20 of this year. >> march 20. >> in washington. >> in washington. >> in washington in. >> yes. >> is that the same date, i'm sorry, is that the same date for the election of the secretary-general of the --
>> yes, we tried to -- [inaudible] are going to be here. >> oh, okay. okay, that makes sense. that's good for all of us. ambassador city marx any reaction -- simas, any reaction so far before we open up the floor? >> thank you. well, this has been very interesting discussion, and i really enjoy the opportunity to join with you. first, article viii we as state parties to the treaty, we have not precluded resort to any of the measures. now, we have to be very realistic also when we look at the way the treaty has operated in its two last meetings. five or six countries, state parties to the treaty have have agreed to participate if they are given some sort of a assurance or reassurance that the use of force would not be on
the table. any resolution in the treaty to be adopted, i want you to bear that in mind -- [inaudible] a number of countries that support certain measures, we need to reach the threshold of 13 countries that support them. and that's what we have done in the last two meetings. and it's look at the recent meeting in december when we have agreed to enforce a travel ban -- [inaudible] maduro regime. that resolution had 13 votes. so we are very carefully -- a majority of members of the treaty to support a certain line of action. i agree with ambassador brownfield that the -- other measures that are availabling but we also need to look at the fact that we need -- [inaudible] any other measure.
so that's what we are doing. we are taking a step-by-step approach, proving first that the treaty is useful, that the treaty provides us with some leverage in terms of opposing nicolas maduro. but at the same time, we have to be pragmatic and realistic in working inside the body of the state parties. secondly, when i raised initially the migration problem out of venezuela, it was never in my mind to -- [inaudible] that we see venezuelans coming into our country as a threat to our country. that is not the case. what i was saying is that we have to look at the root problems inside venezuela. why are these people moving out of venezuela? [inaudible]
can provide us with some additional thoughts on this question. but in no way brazil has never looked at this situation and has tried to securitize the migration problem. what we see is the need to support both people moving out of venezuela -- [inaudible] we have almost two million venezuelans living in the country. brazil -- [inaudible] has 200,000, and you can see the difference. and it's been enormously important for colombia to address this this issue. so i think moving forward we need to continue building the alliance, allowing the cd that we have to apply -- allowing the requested that we have to apply additional pressure. and i think we will be able to do so. not even the -- [inaudible] or no-fly zone. i think we need to move very
carefully in proving, first and foremost, and the treaty applies us with a way to providefective measure against the regime. >> great. thank you, ambassador. ambassador brownfield, any last p comments before we open? >> no. i'ming actually quite comfortable with exactly where we have come out here. >> okay. >> and the description you've heard is it is a legal document, there is some flexibility within that document, and the simple human law of logic suggests the rio treaty can be appled only so far as the state parties willing to apply it. and if that means you must have some consensus as to which participants of the treaty and the -- parts of the treaty and which she e we think sos. in simple, mathematical terms, 13. if you can't get the 13, you're
not going to apply the terms of the rio treaty. >> okay. just to clarify, ambassador, we have 13 countries. i understand 16 approved the september resolution. >> right. >> and those that excluded were -- [inaudible] and cuba. 16 plus these 3 countries are 19, which is a total of the member countries. who out of those 16 didn't vote on the december resolution just to explain the cups that -- cous that are not -- >> [inaudible] >> panama, dominican republic and -- [inaudible conversations] >> huh? >> guest: okay, good. >> we have to -- you wanted
clarity. >> yes, yes. >> i think that was one of the objectives you mentioned when we started. and that's not the number involved here, it's because those countries who decided to abstain this time had issues with the legal application of the -- [inaudible] >> oh, that's right. >> so they were very careful. panama even added a footnote to the resolution to explain why they had decided to abstain. nevertheless, they continue to be siding with us in terms of using the treaty to apply pressure on venezuela. but they have problems of how this would impact the legal system. and you can imagine why, right? >> interesting. that's a good clarification. especially on sanctions too. i am aware of many countries in the region have different legal barrier when it comes to applying sanctions on venezuela. ing so it's good to be mindful of that. okay. thank you all.
i just need your name, affiliation and remember a question with always ends with a question mark. go straight to the question. i'm sure we're going to have enough time to cover many of your questions. i see a hand on the middle there, i see one here too. so let's do two at this time. >> hi -- [inaudible] okay. it's very clear that the u.s. has been a leading force trying to the find out a solution to the venezuelan crisis. on the other hand, latin america has been more cautious. i would like to know what had been the middle point -- what will be the middle point or the comfort zone for both sides? and more than that, what will be the lessons to be long-term -- learned? venezuelan crisis, hopefully not, but what would happen if
something similar or worse happen in the region? what would be the regional response to that? thank you. >> thank you. we have one here. >> thank you so much, ambassadors. my name is -- [inaudible] member of youth and democracy in america, a new organization from the students. so my question is for the three ambassadors. what will be enough proof from the regime that the rio treaty could be enough to send military intervention, and why won't be enough or not a great time to send the force by now? i know that you already answered most of my questions that i had that i'm really grateful for, but i would like to know what will be, what will be the mistake of sending force through united nations for the rio
treaty at this time right now? >> thank you. okay. we have two questions, we have three speakers. so feel free to jump in in either one. >> okay. [inaudible conversations] >> your -- with your permission. thank you, ambassador. [laughter] [inaudible] it is a very big problem. people in venezuela are suffering a tragic situation. that's one of the misconceptions misconceptions -- intervention. to decide the use of force and very simple --
[inaudible] maduro's out. and as ambassador simas also say, you need the approval of 13 countries. and when we started to talk about convened, the ambassador doesn't discuss, yeah, we had 4 or 5 people or who were absolutely -- [inaudible] with this idea. we start to talk and talk and talk and talk and we rise to 16 votes. [inaudible] against the use of force. and you need these 5 countries in order to be, to have votes. that's the problem that most people doesn't understand.
and a lot of people talk to me and write to me and say what are you doing? you're not doing your job. why international -- is not yet here? if you have a more convincing power, the problem should have been resolved months ago. but you see now -- [inaudible] you are asking people to send troops to venezuela. it may be easy to say that, but think of the possibility that you are the president of a country and they canning you to send your boys to -- asking you to send your boys to maybe die in venezuela, and that's not an easy decision. in this way of thinking, there are lives risk.
but you have economic costs. it is not an easy way of acting for a country. and there is another thing very important, is what is idea of maduro regime for every cup. it's not the same -- for every country. we here spoke about maduro in the same way. but if we had invited here all the ambassadors, 34 ambassadors -- [inaudible] of the oes, we should have heard it's not a very efficient government. they have problem. finish but they had election, an election that some people recognized but other people don't recognize, and they have problem, but the problem is every country has problem, and there are ways to wait for next election x. if you say that
election of 2018 was a fraud, they say -- [inaudible] we have possibility of waiting two, four year more in order to do another election and to try to have fair and just election is still open. and you see why this is not, absolutely not easy to have the support. i spoke of 34 members of oes. members are less of that, but with we need 30 votes. -- 13 votes. and the discussion is very easy. there are not 30 votes right now. we are very far from that. in order to start a military direction. >> all right. any other reaction? we had the question about what's the middle ground between the u.s. and regional positions in venezuela. >> i mean, let me offer two or three points.
first, and i insist upon this. age are, the year is 2020 -- ladies and gentlemen, the year is 2020. it is not 1920. when one talks about military options in 2020, one must not look at the problem set as though it is 1920. i do not believe anyone, at least anyone who is sane, who is comparable of thinking and reasoning -- capable of thinking and reasoning is suggesting that an international military force should land on the beaches and begin to march up the highway to caracas. i have heard no one make such a suggestion. i have heard people suggest that if the i humanitarian situation, if the number of refugees, if the complete and utter breakdown of social order in venezuela reaches a state where truly
there is risk of millions of people dying, then we should open the door to consider other options. but no one is suggesting the 1920 option that i am aware of. which gets we to the questions that -- the suggestion, one, of what would be the condition or the second question, which i'm going to relate to it which is really the first one, what is the difference between, in essence, the u.s. approach expect approach of governments -- expect approach of governments and nations elsewhere in latin america? what two figures, ladies and gentlemen, and i'm going to be fairly brutal about in the and aapologize because the one venezuelan -- well, there are two of you, so i apologize to both of you. because the figures are it's in the worst days of the united states civil war what lincoln
called the terrible arithmetic which is to say how many people must die before finally the other side agrees that we should, we should stop this conflict? and if you apply the terrible arithmetic to venezuela on the part of the western hemisphere's government, it is how many people are going to be dying inside of venezuela from malnutrition and starvation, from lack of medicine, from lack of housing, electricity, running water? at what level does that reach a point where the western hemisphere says we simply cannot tolerate this in our hemisphere any longer? and at that point what are the options available? the second number out there is how many refugees. now, it's connected, obviously, to the first number. but what is that number? we're now somewhere between 5-6 million. the overwhelming majority are in
the western hemisphere. is 10 million a number that we finally say enough is enough? is it 15 million? one-half of the population? if at some point that will have an impact. it will be felt most immediately by the neighboring countries, of course, one of whom is represented here on the paneling with me. the other is not, but i bet there's a colombian somewhere here in this audience who are the first that will have to address the issue of their own citizens saying we have reached a point where we cannot absorb more without some form of international response. watch those two numbers. that would be, in my opinion, what would bring the u.s. position -- which, by the way, i'm not certain is that different from that of many latin american nations. but the other regional nations
together at some common middle ground. and that in turn would be, in my opinion, what would get people to say, okay, we're not talking about an invasion, but is there something that could be done that has a military component. excuse me, that would address in some way the humanitarian crisis of venezuela. that would be my response. i'm sorry i went on so long. i'm finished now. [laughter] >> i mean, this raises a question about how when we passes that threshold with all these numbers that we're seeing of refugees, in terms of people dying, i mean, there are not official numbers, obviously. but we've seen a hot of children having a lot of malnutrition issues. i want to hear from ambassador simas, any reaction so far? >> i think when we hear ambassador brownfield talking about the terrible -- what was it? >> the terrible arithmetic, what
mr. lincoln used to call it. >> it's difficult and it's painful for all of us, discussing numbers and in such a cold way, you know? what is the number of migrants and refugees that we are able to support or -- [inaudible] that's why i try to look at this eshoo from the other angle -- issue from the other angle, from the other perspective. how much more are we able to support inside of venezuela in terms of the maduro regime violating human rights and basicallying being -- [inaudible] we continue to have an open door policy toward the migrant refugees. the arivet me tick that i've seen that would change the way we dress this question. -- address in this question. of course, the pressure is increasing for colombia in particular, but i --
[inaudible] lies inside the regime, and we have to attack the regime in order to get things changing. now, you raise the point, you raise the point which is he visit mate one, i understand your question. however,. [inaudible] coalition of support for other measures other than the ones that have been adopted so far. but i entirely support the view that we have not precluded. we're looking to other measures which are allowed under the treaty, and that's why we are convening foreign ministers every three months in order to consider the situation in venezuela. we have -- we're going to have the next one in march, and i think we will continue to look at this question under the premise of the urgency -- >> yeah. >> -- that it creates. >> thank you, ambassador. just an old connection here with another international treaty that we have discussed before is
the application of r2p. i mean, this raises the question if those numbers are, you know -- meet the you are general is city that -- the urgency that requires a different response, how to be applied responsibility to protect? if you read the treaty, there are four different requirements that have been to be met before international community including the u.n. security council. so that raises the question about the role of r2p which i know the secretary has led an international movement to discuss at least the application of r2p in venezuela. we have time for one more round. this time i will take three questions if or there are three questions -- if there are three questions in the forum. i see one hand, there is one here and then i see another hand
over there on the back. >> hi. my name is kate, and i'm with facebook here in d.c.. my question for any one of you. basically, i wanted to know the ways in which you would try to entice former members of the rio treaty who, you know, big economic powers like mexico who were former signatories of the treaty but no longer are, what are some ways you would entice them to join especially now in the fight against the maduro regime in venezuela? thank you. >> thanks for the question. we have one here. just pass the microphone in front of you. yeah. thank you. >> [inaudible] secretary-general, envoy for venezuela refugee crisis. very good -- [inaudible] worst, thank you.
ambassador, thank you. just have been mentioned a few times or many times about the refugee or migration crisis, i have to share with you already are officially five million venezuelan refugees. and i think one important declaration that has to be worked is the cartagena declaration which brazil is implementing -- [inaudible] a person is a refugee when flees the country because of general violence, human rights violation, republic alteration and -- [inaudible] foreign intervention. all of them right now applies for any venezuelan, including the last one. specifically when maduro recognized there are at least 23,000 cubans in venezuela. so when i say this to the -- [inaudible]
is not only because it benefits refugees to give them permanent protection, probably the only way that we have right now in international community to recognize there is a conflict that has been created not only by conventional dictatorship, but a criminal state. because five million people that have fled is only behind syria. so i just wanted to add that, and i had a specific question to ambassador simas. have you been affected recently for the, on the border or any part of brazil because of the illegal mining that has been increasing in state through not only the armed forces, but irregular groups? and in thos irregular groups, the eln? has brazil been affected also by the presence of eln --
[inaudible] thank you so much. >> thank you for the question. one more on the back. thank you. >> hello, my name is daniel chang, i'm a -- and the u.s. house of representatives. so my question is that many of you said, ambassador brownfield, ambassador simas said the treaty is one -- is a binding document. however, what happens when one of the signatory countries decided to have a political change of mind and not apply the resolutions that have been declared by the treaty? for example, use this specific example. under the resolution -- was included among the travel ban. however, a week later there was a change of government in argentina and it was --
[inaudible] how does that -- the integrity of the treaty, and what should we do? >> good question. thank you. we have three important questions e to address. i think, ambassador tarre, i'm going to end with you. let's go to the legal -- illegal mining, how the illegal mining is affecting brazil. and if you can answer those questions in 2-3 minutes each, that will be great. >> well, i know that we have been looking into this question. of course, all of the compounding effect of illegal activities on our border is a source of concern, obviously, it's a concern. i want to address also the other question.
and i'm sorry i didn't get your name, but thank you for the question. and the fact that the treaty is all of the decisions are mandatory except for the ones -- use of force. but other than that -- that are adopted need to be enforced -- legal obligation of state parties to enforce. welcome the litigation -- i think, i think the fact that we adopted the travel ban is important. and even in argentina, if i'm not mistaken, the new argentine government --
[inaudible] regime -- [inaudible] so it's important that even now argentina is abiding by the decision, they took the designated individuals in the resolution. to complete your question, in order to deal with the migrant situation in brazil -- [inaudible] colombia, or we were able to put together operation, and i strongly recommend that you read very recent report which is available on the web page -- [inaudible] answer to the question of migrant refugees in our territory. we have been able to put together an operation involving -- [inaudible] high commission for refugees and international -- for migration. we have had support from
bilateral countries also including the united states x we were able to put in operation and allow -- [inaudible] dignity and have been conduct verying very quickly. we have applied the declaration, so we have two or three different options which they can -- to work and to have access to health -- [inaudible] all of these. >> thank you, ambassador. okay. we have two minutes for each ambassadors. i'm duong going -- going to start with you. >> two quick points if i could make to the first and the last of the three questions that we
took. the first was what additional steps could be taken with some of the larger and yet more skeptical nations on application of the rio treaty, and i believe the two examples that you offered up were mexico and argentina. and i'll offer you a diplomat's ponce to that. and i would say there are ways, most of them done in private consultations, sometimes public messaging to have dialogue among governments and nation-states. one way is to appeal to humanitarian instincts. i mean, the point that in a sense we're making today is that this is not necessarily a political, ideological or philosophical issue. this is an issue of tens of millions of human beings who are suffering from malnutrition,
bordering upon starvation and complete and utter lack of public health. does this, is this not a route into reconsideration. a second more fundamental issue is as a result of those humanitarian, that humanitarian crisis, tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of more refugees will arrive in your cups themselves. in your countries themselves. to what extent do you believe that this constitutes a political, an internal political issue for you. and third and finally, and this is the diplomat, the former diplomat in me speaking, one has to try to understand what are the concerns of the government that is not participating at this point in time. now, some of them may be fundamental, and you're simply not going to be able to address those.
but other may be matter of language if we say it in a different way, if we add an element to whatever the decision is, would this be enough to bring at least your government into some aspects of mix of the rio treaty. this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we pay huge sums of money. i can say that now because i no longer am receiving any of it, to professional diplomats in the hemisphere to try to find ways to reach a common position. and finally, the last question -- and i'm going to be very quick on this one -- what do we do about governments that have, in fact, endorsed or in a sense voted for application of certain as pecks of p.r -- aspects of p.r. but then choose not to enforce them. this is not the first time in human history, ladies and gentlemen are, in which this has
occurred when it occurred to have both private and public dialogue that you also have to accept that governments, including my own which i no longer work for but i receive a miserable pension from who will at times pick and choose those obligations that it will, in fact, accept and enforce. at the end of the day, there's a certain amount of moral persuasion, and to a certain extent naming and shaming. if a government has, in fact, endorsed and accepted a certain obligation, international obligation, and then not complied with it, they should be drawn to the attention of the world at large. and with that, i stop so i can hear ambassador tarre offering much better and more expert positions. [laughter] >> [inaudible] [laughter] the complexity of the problem. not only the legal complexity, but the political complexity.
and ownerring in the political -- operating in the political situation. first of all, important countries are not part of the treaty, canada and mention -- members coe. argentine -- mexico. argentina vote -- [inaudible] before the change of government in bay nose ire reese, and. [inaudible] who enter and legally linked by the tree the city, but it doesn't apply. leaders to enter in argentina.
but we have -- there are a lot of changes. also that it was -- [inaudible] and we're out of this, but it's changing in -- we are going to have a new can -- [inaudible] ecuador has not had the position -- [inaudible] let me add a new complexity. ambassador brownfield say there is to way to enforce what the treaty -- but there is a moral
obligation, there is a legal obligation and diplomacy has a lot of ways in order to deal with this kind of communication and this kind of problem. it is absolutely not easy but is a way out. >> it's been a fascinating conversation. thank you so much, ambassadors. thank you to all for coming, and thank you for putting this together. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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