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Venezeula Renounces Cartagena, Leaves Andean Com.

Text of the letter in which Venezuela renounces the Cartagena Accord and withdraws from the Andean Community of Nations

Caracas, April 22nd 2006
Translation by toni solo
Spanish Original -

President and Members of the Andean Community Commission

By means of this communication, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wishes to express its decision to renounce the Cartagena Accord, in compliance with Article 135 of that instrument. In making this renunciation, (Venezuela) points out:

1. The recent negotiations and signing of Free Trade Treaties with the United States of North America by Colombia and Peru have created a new body of law which attempts to assimilate the norms od the Free Trade Agreements to the Andean Community, changing de facto its nature and original principles.

2. The Free Trade Agreements privilege individual interests over the interests of peoples, increasing social injustices and weakening respect for human rights that in our case are guaranteed by express constitutional order. A democratic, social State based on right and law posits, in our case, the pre-eminence of human rights as fundamental. To accept diminishing these rights would in practice be equivalent to derogating from our Constitution.

3. The Free Trade Treaties promote an unjust distribution of wealth and set back the drive to integral development of the people, provoking the progressive disappearance of national productive sectors and the consequent loss of economic sovereignty.

4. In general the Free Trade Treaties possess the same neo-liberal concepts as the Free Trade Area of the Americas, translating into injustice, inequality, exclusion, minority privilege, discrimination and destruction of the principles of equality and progression in the guarantee and enjoyment of rights, establishing new forms of colonialism.

5. The authorization extended by means of Decision number 598 of 2004 in which we approved permission for negotiations with third countries, out of respect for the sovereignty of member countries of the Andean Community of Nations, does not mean that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is disposed to accept the norms of the Free Trade Agreements with the United States of North America, to the extent that these imply the establishment of principles and norms similar to those porposed in the Free Trade Area of the Americas. As is well known to the other members and to public opinion, Venezuela, along with other countries in South America, has maintained a clear opposition to the idea of a Free Trade Area of the Americas.

For the reasons set out, in the name of and representing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, we express from this date, the decision to renounce the said Accord in conformity with its own regulations, counting on the appropriate performance of the Commission to process it promptly and reserving the timely exercise of the rights contained in Article 135 of the Cartagena Accord already referred to so often.

Reaffirming the brotherly feelings between our peoples and the desire for integration laid out in its historical aspirations, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will undertake all the initiatives it considers appropriate to realise that desire. With nothing else for the moment, I remain,


Minister for Foreign Affairs
Caracas, 22 de abril de 2006

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