US military action in Venezuela would violate international law, expert says,

[…] Trump condemned socialism and voiced strong support for the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó, but Mary Ellen O’Connell, Notre Dame Law School professor and renowned expert on international law, raised concerns about Trump’s statement: “We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open.” She says if that means attacking, it would be in clear violation of international law.

“President Trump has invoked the standard code for using military force against Venezuela,” O’Connell says. “Attacking for any reason, however, would violate the most fundamental of all international law — the prohibition on the use of force. International law permits force in response to an armed attack in self-defense, but not for regime change, to secure oil or even to distribute food.” […]

“Regardless of how odious Maduro is, he is in effective control,” O’Connell says. “Under international law, he is treated as the head of government. The fact the U.S. and other states have recognized opposition leader Guaidó as the legitimate president is irrelevant for these purposes. Guaidó must win the support of the military and other Maduro backers to govern. It is governing that matters, not the preferences of outside states.”

O’Connell says military action will cause as much pain as it might relieve for suffering Venezuelans.

“There are no ‘humanitarian wars,’” she says. “Nor is military confrontation a way to promote good governance and the rule of law. The U.S. has become so accustomed to using military force — from full-scale invasions to constant drone attacks — we don’t seem to be able to think of anything else to do. Läs artikel