Four Latin American countries have agreed to pull out of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, saying the regional defense treaty is a US initiative and membership is not beneficial to them.
The foreign ministers of Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua announced their decision on Tuesday at the end of an annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Bolivia.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the decision by the four member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was official as the four countries signed a document denouncing the treaty.
The treaty, commonly known as the Rio Treaty, stipulates that an armed attack against any of the member states is to be considered an attack against all of them.
On Sunday, Bolivian President Evo Morales called for the elimination of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, saying that the rights body concerns itself only with countries that do not share a political affinity with the United States. The US is not subject to the commission’s oversight.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not attend the OAS meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
The 42nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States, which brings together leaders from nations across the Americas to address hemispheric issues and opportunities, started on June 3 in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba under the theme “Food security with sovereignty."