Venezuela: 48th General Assembly of Organization of American States

U.S. fails again in attempt to suspend Venezuela

At the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) held June 4-5 in Washington, D.C., the U.S. and a group of countries under its domination failed in their attempt to suspend the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela from the organization.A resolution calling for Venezuela’s suspension based on allegations of an “unconstitutional alteration of the constitutional order” in the country fell well short of the 24 votes required for it to take effect when 15 countries, many of them small Caribbean island states, either voted against it or abstained, thus denying the U.S. and its “Lima Group” the chance to claim an institutional mandate for their nefarious activities against Venezuela.[1]

As host of this year’s General Assembly, the U.S made clear that its main objective for the meeting was to get the organization and its members to kick Venezuela out – largely a symbolic act aimed at isolating the government of Venezuela internationally as part of its economic, financial and political blockade of the country. In fact, Venezuela announced in April 2017, more than a year ago, that it was withdrawing from the U.S.-dominated body of its own volition – a two-year process under OAS rules of procedure.

In May, a special session of the OAS Permanent Council was convoked by the U.S. for the sole purpose of giving it a platform to browbeat countries of Latin America and the Caribbean that had so far resisted the pressure to take punitive action against Venezuela. At that meeting U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence called on members of the OAS to suspend Venezuela at the General Assembly. He repeated his harangue at a reception for OAS officials a month later at a White House reception the evening of June 4. There he called on “the community of free nations, from across this New World, to expel the Maduro dictatorship from the Organization of American States.” He said that by supporting the U.S. in this initiative they would be proving their commitment “to forge stronger bonds with the United States.” He assured them that in return they would receive benefits “ranging from our financial investments, economic growth, energy, infrastructure, security, and prosperity…”

It has been reported that these carrots eventually gave way to the stick of threats and extortion when it became apparent that the U.S. did not have the required support of 24 member states that its ambassador to the OAS, Carlos Trujillo, had bragged about just days before.

Before the vote was taken, President Evo Morales of Bolivia, whose country was one of four who voted against the U.S. resolution on June 5, condemned the interventionist intention of the U.S. Vice President. The U.S. has been defeated in its coup plan against Venezuela, and is now trying to use the OAS assembly as a “repressive stick” to suspend our sister nation, Morales said.

With Venezuela’s immediate suspension from the OAS off the table after the resolution passed but without the two-thirds majority support needed to activate provisions of the OAS Inter-American Democratic Charter having to do with suspending a member state, its sponsors said they would ask for a special session of the General Assembly to be called at an unspecified future date to try again.

Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza said the 19 countries who supported the resolution were enabling the U.S. to continue its economic warfare and supporting the possibility of a military intervention. “Let that be on your conscience,” he told them. At the same time he noted that not even with all the pressure put on them could the U.S. and its gang defeat the dignity and courage of the peoples of the Caribbean. Arreaza then reminded those present that Venezuela was already more than halfway through the process of leaving the OAS, which he called the U.S. Ministry of Colonies, as Cuba refers to it, making this the last General Assembly Venezuela would attend. We will go to the Venezuelan people and solve our problems among ourselves without your interference or intervention, he said to loud applause from around the room.

Note

1 The 19 countries that voted in favour of the resolution put forward by the U.S. with the support of Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru were: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, and the U.S.

The four countries that voted in opposition were: Bolivia, Venezuela, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica.

The 11 countries that abstained were: El Salvador, St. Kitts and Nevis, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Ecuador, Uruguay and Nicaragua.

(Prensa Latina, TeleSUR, El Espectador)

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