Push to suspend Venezuela from OAS fails

March 31, 2017
OAS extraordinary session concludes without a formal vote regarding Venezuela’s suspension

After hours of debate, the Organization of American States (OAS) extraordinary session on March 28 came to a close with member-states failing to reach a consensus over Venezuela’s suspension.

Despite OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro’s insistent attempts to push for Venezuela’s expulsion, the 35 member-states expressed mixed opinions regarding the application of the regional body’s Democratic Charter against the South American country. Needing a two-thirds majority to invoke the charter, the session ended without a vote. 

Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, the United States and Paraguay actively expressed their support to slap Venezuela with the Democratic Charter.

However, several nations came to Venezuela’s defence expressing solidarity and emphasising the need to push forward with dialogue between the government and the opposition in the South American nation.

Notably, Caribbean nations such as Dominica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Barbados all challenged the call for Venezuela’s suspension.

“Dominica stands in solidarity with the Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela. The resolution needs to be through a dialogue between all parties that respects the sovereignty of Venezuela,” expressed the Caribbean nation’s permanent representative Dennis Moses.

The Dominican Republic’s official delegation referenced the country’s own complicated history with the OAS stating: “What guarantee do we have that if we impose external solutions on Venezuela that we will not have to apologise again in the future?”

Last year, Dominican President Danilo Medina called on the OAS to "pay off its historical debt" for its support of Washington's 1965 invasion of his nation.

Venezuelan deputy foreign minister Samuel Moncada called attention to the hypocrisy of specific OAS member states by citing the inconsistency of political postures and ongoing conflicts in other member states. 

“What happened yesterday with Marco Rubio threatening member states if they did not agree to suspend Venezuela is serious,” Moncada said, referring to the Florida Republican senator's threats to cut aid to Haiti, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic if they did not vote in favour of invoking the Democratic Charter. 

Additionally, Moncada stressed the alleged US role in orchestrating the consistent right-wing attacks against Venezuela.

“This [campaign against Venezuela] is all tied to the US and the State Department. We ask that if the US wants to help they should revoke Obama’s decree [declaring Venezuela a threat to US national security] and deport all of the criminals [in the United States] that work against our people. That would be a first goodwill step.

“We reject forcibly what has happened here today and we will fight any attempt to intervene in the affairs of Venezuela,” stated the diplomat. 

In recent weeks, Almagro has repeatedly called to suspend Venezuela from the regional body, blaming the Bolivarian government for frozen talks with the opposition. 

However, international mediators have continued to express their support and hope for dialogue among all Venezuelan parties. 

[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]

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