CARACAS – A dispute has been teed off between Switzerland’s ambassador to Venezuela and a neighboring elite golf club after a banner appeared at the diplomat’s residence warning that golf balls injuring or killing anyone inside would violate the Vienna Convention.
The large placard, on the residence’s fence near the third of the Caracas Country Club’s 18 holes, begins by explaining that the residence is considered Swiss territory. “Launching balls into this residence is a danger to whoever is within Swiss territory and a violation of the Vienna Convention if a golf ball injures or kills anyone on Swiss soil.”
Ambassador Sabine Ulmann said she had nothing to say on the matter. Her residence is located in a wealthy area of Caracas, alongside the official residences of many other European nations.
The private Caracas Country Club is one of Venezuela’s most elite hangouts.
The Venezuelan Federation of Golf said it had read the sign with “astonishment.”
“We have no fear whatsoever that we are attacking Swiss territory should a golf ball land in embassy premises,” the statement read. It added that the sign appeared a “strange overreaction.”
Article 30 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states: “The private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission.”