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News: International

Venezuela Opposes OAS Secretary General Ultimatum: Elections or Suspension

Los Angeles, Wednesday March 15th 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodríguez issued an official statement Tuesday rejecting the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro’s latest report calling for the suspension of the South American nation if general elections are not held “as quickly as possible”. The 75 page report, released this week, outlines the Bolivarian government’s alleged human rights abuses and violations of the OAS Democratic Charter.

"Almagro heads the hemisphere's fascist right-wing group that harasses, assaults and viciously attacks Venezuela, without any scruples or ethics," read the communique released on Rodríguez’s official social media page @DrodriguezVen.

Almagro insists that Venezuela hold general elections within 30 days and “retake an institutional route” or face suspension from the regional bloc, despite the fact that general elections are not due in Venezuela until 2018. 

Elections "are the only real solution that exists," Almagro attests.

“We cannot allow the premise of dialogue to continue to be used as a smokescreen to perpetuate and legitimize the authoritarian power of what has become a regime in Venezuela,” he stated in the updated report. 

In response, the Venezuelan government denounced "before the whole world the aggressive intentions of this sad, evildoer against our unwavering decision to continue living in peace, with independence and sovereignty, as is the right of all peoples of the world".

Last May, Almagro presented a similar report and invoked Article 20 of the OAS Democratic Charter. He threatened the South American nation with intervention, citing “an alteration of the constitutional order that seriously affects its democratic order.” Nonetheless, the move was rejected by the majority of member-states, who voted to back dialogue in Venezuela to resolve differences between the national government and political opposition. 

Since May, the Bolivarian government has attempted to reconcile tensions with sectors of the opposition, whose efforts to realize a recall referendum to revoke the president last year were quashed. The National Electoral Council (CNE) suspended the process after thousands fraudulent signatures were registered in support of the recall by the opposition. 

Subsequently, the Bolivarian government extended an invitation to dialogue with sectors of the opposition with support from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Vatican as international facilitators. However, the opposition has yet to resume the dialogue since late last year calling for the release of “political prisoners” and making other demands before committing to next steps.

Almagro’s report comes after he stated in February that the OAS would not apply the Democratic Charter in Venezuela’s case until the Bolivarian government, opposition and Vatican officially confirmed that dialogue efforts had ceased. A joint official statement between the two parties and the religious body has not been released.

Almagro’s threat of suspension for Venezuela is not new. The OAS suspended the revolutionary Cuban government and people from the regional body between 1962-2009.

Published on Mar 15th 2017 at 8.21pm