Parliament approves return to Inter-American Treaty that provides for use of force

Venezuela's National Assembly in Caracas

Venezuela's National Assembly in Caracas

  |  Manaure Quintero/Reuters

Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly has approved the country's return to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR).

The approval took place during a session in which the Bolivarian National Guard (military police) again prevented the press from accessing the building and strengthened control on MPs entering the legislative palace in central Caracas.

During the session, parliament president Juan Guaidó insisted that the house of representatives "will continue to use all mechanisms to achieve a change of regime and fight for democracy," which also includes a transitional government and free and transparent elections.

"The country has given irrefutable proof that it needs change; we feel the urgency of all Venezuelan citizens, who are desperate because they cannot feed their children. When we speak of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (IATRA), the Contact Group, Norway, the Lima Group, we are speaking of a possible solution. We will use all mechanisms to achieve our goal," he said.

Guaidó also argued that if the humanitarian crisis is not addressed soon, Venezuelans will face a catastrophe - adding, however, that "there are no magic solutions."

"We have to continue building skills, developing We must stop the catastrophe. History will ask us if we have done enough during the darkest moments of the Republic," he said.

The treaty is a mutual defense agreement signed on September 2, 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, and comprises 18 American countries.

The treaty's current signatories are the US, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and the Bahamas.

Venezuela was a signatory country until 2012, when former President Hugo Chavez said that it only served the interests of the United States.