Venezuela Leaves Latest OAS Session Citing “Interventionism”

The Venezuelan OAS delegation denounced “interventionist” behavior at the regional organization’s latest extraordinary session.

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Organization of American States member state flags (Archive).
Organization of American States member state flags (Archive).
By Jeanette Charles
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Caracas, November 17, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The Venezuelan delegation to the Organization of American States (OAS) withdrew from an extraordinary session Wednesday citing several nations’ attempt to discuss the dialogue process without Venezuela’s consent or knowledge as “interventionist”.

The OAS official website indicates that Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and the United States signed off on the session.

“A group of countries convened the OAS Permanent Council to discuss a declaration in support of the national dialogue in Venezuela. This convening was done without the knowledge or consent of the Venezuelan government,” expressed the Venezuelan delegation in a press release on Twitter.

Carmen Velásquez, representative of the Venezuelan OAS delegation, did express gratitude for the member states sincerely in support of the dialogue. However, she characterized the convening states as “actors” that “do not favor dialogue [in Venezuela]” and wish “that the situation in Venezuela takes another path.”

Velásquez continued that the Venezuelan delegation would not support a statement written without her government’s knowledge. "We cannot accompany this session, although it may sound like a contradiction.”

She stressed that “they [convening states] have violated two sacred principles for us, and moreover, Venezuela does not consent that they give their opinion about our country.”

In May, OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro attempted to unilaterally invoke the body's democratic charter against Venezuela and called for international intervention to address the country's alleged “human rights violations”. 

“[This situation with the OAS] is becoming a recurring practice of the organization’s ‘harassment’ against our country and its institutions. This situation is unacceptable for our state and its sovereignty,” read Venezuela’s official statement.

Velásquez emphasized that despite these challenges, “peace is triumphing.”

On Saturday, the Venezuelan government and the opposition agreed to five points in its dialogue to overcome the economic crisis as well as consolidate peace and democracy in the country. The next dialogue meeting is slated for December 6th.

Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, special envoy for Pope Francisco, Ernesto Samper, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) general secretary, and former presidents José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Spain), Leonel Fernández (Dominican Republic) and Martín Torrijos (Panama) have accompanied the dialogue in Venezuela.

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