Venezuela

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 June 2019

Summary: Non-signatory Venezuela adopted the convention in 2008, but it has not taken any steps to accede to it. Venezuela voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018.

Venezuela is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, but it imported them and destroyed an unspecified quantity in August 2011.

Policy

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Venezuela has never commented on its lack of accession to the convention. In 2011, Venezuela said, “a binding tool leading us to a prohibition of the use, stockpiling, [and] transfer…would be the ideal” to address the humanitarian concerns raised by cluster munitions. [1]

Venezuela participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin on 30 May 2008, but expressed opposition to the convention’s Article 21 provisions on “interoperability” (relations with states not party), which it said “[undermines] the spirit and purpose” of the convention. [2]

Venezuela participated as an observer in the convention’s the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011. This was its first and, to date, only attendance in a meeting of the convention.

Venezuela voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2018, which urges states outside of the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [3] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Venezuela is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Venezuela is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

In 2011, the Ministry of the Popular Power for the Defense of Venezuela announced the destruction of an unspecified number of cluster munitions belonging to the air force. [4] The cluster munitions, including Israeli-made AS TAL-1 cluster bombs, were destroyed at Fort Caribbean in El Pao, Cojedes as part an operation to destroy surplus ammunition and ordnance.

It is not clear if Venezuela has more cluster munitions stockpiled. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has reported that Israel exported the LAR-160 surface-to-surface rocket system to Venezuela, but it is not known if ammunition containing submunitions was included in the deal. [5]



 [1] Statement of Venezuela, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 24 November 2011. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

 [2] For more information on Venezuela’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 267–268.

 [3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.  

 [4] "The Ministry of Defense of Venezuela destroys cluster bombs” (“El Ministerio de la Defensa de Venezuela destruye bombas de racimo”), Infodefensa.com, 26 August 2011.

 [5] SIPRI, “Arms Transfers Database.” Recipient report for Israel for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012. Chile has reported once possessing the LAR-160 rocket systems with warheads that contain submunitions.