The United States has deployed a military ship, the USS Pinckney, off the coast of Venezuela, albeit in international waters, to promote freedom of navigation in those waters as part of its drug control efforts in the Caribbean.
The United States Southern Command has announced that the “USS Pinckney”, a missile destroyer, has been used to “challenge Venezuela’s excessive demands in international waters during successful navigation freedom operations in the Caribbean”.
Washington has referred to the “legally and peacefully completed” naval operation on June 23 with the “USS Nitze” in international waters “outside of 12 nautical miles of Venezuela’s territorial waters”.
On this occasion, Caracas spoke of “provocation” because it assured that the US ship was approaching 30 nautical miles from the Venezuelan coast. “The illegitimate regime of (Nicolás Maduro) claims excessive control over these international waters, (…) which is incompatible with international law,” the South Command argued.