Venezuela announces withdrawal from OAS, Bolivia's Evo slams OAS

May 1, 2017
Bolivian President Evol Morales labelled the OAS an 'instrument of imperialism'.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced that the country will begin the process of exiting the Organization of American States (OAS).

The announcement came after the organisation's Permanent Council agreed on April 26 to convene a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Venezuela, with 19 votes in favour, 10 against, one abstention and one absence.

Rodriguez said the OAS was seeking to criminalise the Venezuelan government and destabilise constitutional democracy, in order to facilitate foreign intervention. She added that Venezuela’s government will present a letter to the OAS stating that “Venezuela will not participate in any activities that promote interventionism” and that the exit process would take 24 months.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacted to the OAS action on his Twitter account, saying: “The Venezuela Bolivarian Revolutionary and Chavistas will continue their march toward our true independence and nothing and nobody will stop us.”

Rodriguez also thanked sister nations for standing with the Bolivarian country. She pointed out that on May 2, Venezuela would take be in San Salvador for a special summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss the opposition violence in Venezuela and threat of intervention.

The OAS has long been dominated by the United States and often seen in the region as an instrument for its interests, such as with the expulsion of Cuba in 1962.

As part of the process of regional integration spearheaded by Venezuela and other left-leaning governments this century, CELAC was founded n Caracas in 2011. It includes all nations in the region except for the US and Canada.

Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s OAS representative, said that the fate of the South American nation will never be decided by institutions such as the OAS or Washington.

Moncada said Venezuela is an independent nation that will never accept the tutelage of any country.

OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, who has repeatedly attacked the government of Venezuela, called for the Democratic Charter to be applied against the country. This would lead to its suspension from the organisation, on similar grounds to Cuba’s expulsion.

Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez reiterated on April 26 his government’s decision to not support the application of the Democratic Charter against Venezuela, in order to avoid the “radicalisation” of the situation.

He said: “Venezuela’s problems must be solved by the Venezuelans themselves. We must extend a helping hand to the Venezuelan people.”

Former presidents Martin Torrijos (Panama), Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic), Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (Spain) and Ernesto Samper (Colombia) released a statement denouncing the violence in Venezuela and calling for a peaceful solution to differences.

“The use of violence as a political tool, whatever its origin or motive, is condemnable from any point of view,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Bolivia’s left-wing indigenous President Evo Morales told TeleSUR on April 26 that the Organization of American States was “the best instrument of imperialism,” labelling it “the US Ministry of Colonies.”

Bolivia took over the pro-tempore presidency in early April, which Morales said would provide the South American nation with the “best space to speak out against the empire.”

“In Venezuela, there is a coup attempt,” Morales noted about the recent attempts by the US-backed right-wing opposition to overthrow Venezuela’s government. “But the OAS is an instrument for the coup.”

He recalled the constant history of US interference in the domestic affairs of Latin American countries and arguing that the United States was really behind the campaign by the OAS secretary-general Luis Almagro’s campaign against Venezuela.

He noted: “It looks like [US President Donald) Trump wants to take over the world, but the real leaders are the peoples”. He expressed “fear and concern” over US intervention in Syria and Korea.

Morales reiterated his support for Venezuela’s elected government, arguing that what was really at stake was Venezuela's oil reserves. He also congratulated fellow leftist Lenin Moreno for winning Ecuador’s recent presidential elections.

Discussing the process of political and social transformation in Bolivia since he was first elected in 2005 at the head of a mass indigenous-led movement, Morales noted: “We were a country submitted to the empire, and we freed ourselves.”

[Compiled from TeleSUR English.]

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