OAS Declares “a Violation of the Constitutional Order” in Venezuela

By Beatriz Juez (dpa)

HAVANA TIMES – The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved today by consensus a resolution in which it expressed “its deep concern about the serious unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order” in Venezuela, which was opposed by that country and Bolivia.

Honduras’ ambassador to the OAS, Leonidas Rosa Bautista, who acted today as acting president of the Permanent Council, announced that the resolution had been approved, although there was no formal vote. Of the 23 delegations present in the room, four
abstained: Belize, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and El Salvador.

In its resolution, Member States recalled that “the separation and independence of public powers is one of the essential elements of representative democracy”.

The Permanent Council also gave its “continued support for dialogue and negotiation to bring about a peaceful restoration of democratic order.”

In the resolution, it was considered that “the decisions of the Supreme Court of Venezuela to suspend the powers of the National Assembly and assume them are incompatible with democratic practice and constitute a violation of the constitutional order.”

Therefore, the Permanent Council urged the Government of Nicolás Maduro to “act to guarantee the separation and independence of constitutional powers and restore the full authority of the National Assembly, including the restitution of parliamentary immunities and privileges.”

The Council further decided to “continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela and undertake, as necessary, additional diplomatic efforts to promote the normalization of democratic institutions … including the convening of a meeting at the ministerial level.”

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, considered that the adoption of this resolution is “a very important step for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.”

The resolution was approved on a tense day in the OAS. In the morning, Bolivia, acting president of the Permanent Council of the OAS, had suspended the session without informing the rest of the member states and without explanation.

A group of 20 countries, which had convened the session, protested the suspension of the meeting, which finally took place.

The Honduran ambassador assumed the reins of the session, as the most senior ambassador, and in the face of the refusal of Bolivia and Haiti, respectively, president and vice-president of the Permanent Council to chair the meeting.

The Bolivian and Venezuelan missions to the OAS interrupted the special session of the Permanent Council to denounce that an “institutional coup” had been given to the presidency of the Council, held by Bolivia since last Saturday.

The Bolivian ambassador and current president of the Permanent Council, Diego Pary, lamented that “a friendly country” like Honduras assumed “the coup presidency of the OAS.” And denounced that gave “an institutional blow to the presidency.”

The Venezuelan ambassador, Samuel Moncada, called the Council meeting “illegal” and showed his rejection of it. “They are giving a coup d’etat in the OAS,” Moncada said.

The delegations of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia withdrew from the session in protest.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales today protested against the OAS for promoting an “institutional coup.”

“Once again, the OAS has been converted into a Ministry of Colonies. There is an ‘institutional coup’ in preventing the presidency of Bolivia from being exercised,” Morales wrote on Twitter from Havana, where he recovers from throat surgery