ralph lauren polos Press Conference with the Cuban and foreign press given by Felipe Pérez Roque
We thank you all for having come to the Ministry to hear the following information.
We have summoned the national and international press accredited in Havana to let them know that at this time, after a coup d’ has been dealt in Venezuela, a mob of about 400 people is besieging the Cuban Embassy in Caracas. This violent mob is led by members of the Cuban extreme right who live in Venezuela, representatives in that country of the Cuban American National Foundation and other extremist and terrorist groups based in Miami, USA.
These extremist elements of Cuban descent arrived first at the Cuban Embassy and there, in a climate of tolerance and absolute impunity, began to incite other extremist and violent sectors of the Venezuelan population who had been supporting the coup d’ to break down the door of the Cuban Embassy, and storm the building which houses the Cuban Embassy in Caracas.
At this very moment they are besieging the Embassy; electricity and water supplies for the Cuban diplomats who work in the Embassy have been completely cut off. There is a call to cut the supply of food to our Embassy and some privately owned Venezuelan television channels, which were involved in yesterday’s events and in the putsch against the constitutional Venezuelan government are also making insistent calls to forcibly besiege and storm the Cuban Embassy premises.
The Cuban diplomats, and Cuban ambassador Germ S have attempted to communicate with the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, have even faxed a diplomatic note describing these serious events. They have been in touch with the Mayor of that district in Caracas and he and the Foreign Ministry have been called on to meet their responsibilities regarding the protection of Cuban diplomats accredited in Caracas and their families. They have not received any reply. In the midst of the general chaos, no one from the Foreign Ministry or from the Mayor’s Office has replied.
The Cuban diplomats who are currently in our Embassy have instructions to not allow any illegal entry into our Embassy. And I want to make it clear that if any of that violent mob does get into the Embassy, placing the physical integrity of the Cuban diplomats and their families in danger, our diplomats will not hesitate to defend our Embassy, even if it costs them their lives.
The Cuban Government holds those who have been trying to stage a coup d’ in Venezuela to take power illegally accountable for whatever happens at the Cuban Embassy, for the physical integrity and the lives of the Cuban diplomats, their families and the property in our building. They will be held accountable, since they are allowing this violent and extremist action against diplomats accredited in Caracas, in violation of international conventions and of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
I insist that if they break into the Cuban Embassy our diplomatic staff has instructions and is totally prepared to defend it, even if it costs them their lives.
I also want to say that all the news coming from Venezuela makes it absolutely clear that there was a coup d’ yesterday in Venezuela. The Venezuelan Attorney General has just told the press that president Ch has been arrested and that he is being forcibly detained in a military facility, that it is completely untrue that he has resigned. “President Ch has not resigned the Attorney General said “no document of president Ch resignation has been shown to the public.” Therefore, at this moment President Ch is the constitutional president of Venezuela and he has been forcibly detained while a coup d’ is in progress in Venezuela.
The Attorney General made it clear that, according to the Venezuelan Constitution and not just the one from 1999, he said, but also according to the 1961 Constitution, even if the constitutional President of the republic had decided to resign, to make it effective, his resignation has to be submitted to a plenary session of the National Assembly of the Venezuelan Parliament, and that has not happened.
The Attorney General has denounced that the Attorney General’s Office has been prevented from having access to and contact with President Ch that any news they have received has been through military sources, from some military prosecutors who have had access to the place where the constitutional President of Venezuela is being illegally held by force.
The Attorney General has said that if the constitutional President resigns which has not happened, no document has been shown, the public has not been allowed any access to president Ch no resignation document exists, the National Assembly to which, and according to the Constitution, he has to submit his resignation, has not met that, according to the Constitution, even if he had resigned, the Vice President of the Republic, in this case Mr. Diosdado Cabello, would take his place since President Ch has not dismissed the Vice President of the Republic nor the Ministers in his cabinet. Therefore, those in Venezuela who are trying to seize power violently, using force, are violating the Venezuelan Constitution, the principles of the rule of law and are placing the country in a situation of complete violation of the precepts of the Inter American Democratic Charter, adopted by the Organization of American States.
The Attorney General has said that the President was unjustly arrested, that he has not signed any resignation, that even if the President and Vice President of Venezuela had resigned, responsibility for taking control of the country, according to the Constitution, lies with the Speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly. Therefore, the events that have been underway since the early hours of this morning are a violation of the Venezuelan Constitution; the putschist junta, which is trying to consolidate its power, is violating the Venezuelan Constitution and the democratic precepts established by the Organization of American States, to which Venezuela is a member.
Several Venezuelan state governors have denounced the putsch and have balked at accepting the legitimacy of the power of the putschists. Several have been arrested and taken to unknown locations, as part of the persecution and repression unleashed by some sectors of the army and coup supporters linked to the junta which, a few hours ago, illegally proclaimed itself the new power in Venezuela.
Cuba denounces this putsch to the international public opinion.
Cuba holds the perpetrators of the coup, who at this time are allowing her Embassy to be besieged, responsible for whatever happens to the Cuban diplomats and their families. Cuba insists that they are responsible for a situation of violence and aggression against Cuban diplomats.
Cuba repeats that, if those elements break in, the Cuban diplomats will defend our Embassy, even at the cost of their lives, and places the responsibility on those backing the coup who have allowed this, and who are encouraging and calling on all extremist sectors to invade the Cuban Embassy which at this time has no water, no electricity and is totally blocked by that mob which is acting with total impunity.
The Attorney General has said that there is now no constitutional state in Venezuela at the moment, that a coup d’ is taking place in which a de facto junta is attempting, in violation of Venezuelan law and the Constitution, to seize power in that country.
We want our people, the public opinion here and the international public opinion to know about these serious events.
Lucia Newman (CNN). Yes, good afternoon Foreign Minister. Two short questions. Is there any truth in the rumors or reports that president Ch wife is in Cuba? And secondly, what is your reaction to the announcement by Venezuelan Petroleum that as of now, not another drop of Venezuelan petroleum will be supplied to Cuba?
FelipeP President Ch wife is not in Cuba.
Venezuelan Petroleum is now being run by a group of people aligned with the putschists who are currently trying to consolidate their power in Venezuela using illegal methods, after dealing a coup d’ and de facto assuming control over the country. Cuba does not recognize the legitimacy of the PDVSA management aligned with the putschists.
Mauricio Vincent (El Pa Minister, two questions as well.
Was the Cuban President able to speak with the Venezuelan President late last night before he was left incommunicado?
And the second question is, is Cuba going to take any initiative in some international forum, in the UN, to denounce this situation in the short term?
Felipe P . President Fidel Castro did speak to president Ch after midnight last night.
Cuba will invoke the existing international mechanisms for the preservation of democratic institutions and respect for the rule of law.
Cuba will ask for a meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non Aligned Countries. Cuba at this time is talking to other Non aligned countries about holding such meeting at the United Nations Organization.
Cuba is now informing the UN Secretary General about the siege of and violence against its Embassy in Caracas.