CELAC summit backs Venezuela

May 7, 2017
Supporters of the Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution in El Salvador during the CELAC summit.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and other ministers from the region kicked off a special session of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on May 2 in San Salvador to discuss recent violence in the South American country.

El Salvador holds the pro-tempore presidency of the international organisation. CELAC was created in 2011 as part of the push for regional integration, spearheaded by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

It was formed with the support of many of the left-wing leaders, who see CELAC as a platform to fight US imperialism in Latin America and the Caribbean. It unites 33 countries of the region — every nation in the Americas except the US and Canada.

“We are with you, the people of Venezuela,” Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren stated at the summit.

“El Salvador was able to overcome an internal armed conflict for more than one decade through dialogue. We believe Venezuela can, too.”

Salvadoran foreign minister Hugo Martinez said the meeting analysed the escalation of violence instigated from abroad and unleashed by opposition groups, and the interference of the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.

“We must treat things with the greatest restraint and respect between us,” said Martinez. “At the end of the day at CELAC, we must be more united.”

Of CELAC’s 33 member countries, only six did not attend.

Rodriguez indicated that unlike the meetings of the OAS, CELAC did not have to endure “living with the embarrassing presence of Washington with its threats and extortions”.

Caracas requested the meeting on April 25, just before Venezuela announced plans to leave the OAS, which the country has accused of trying to promote a coup against President Nicolas Maduro and allow for foreign intervention.

Almagro has repeatedly called for the Democratic Charter of the OAS to be applied against Venezuela due to its internal political situation. This would have led to its suspension from the organisation.

Rodriguez accused Almagro of responding to US interests in seeking to support the destabilisation of her country. She said the OAS has a history of promoting interventions, coups and invasions in the region.

Rodriguez also slammed the OAS for its hypocrisy of constantly criticising the political and economic crisis in Venezuela while turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in other countries.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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