HAVANA TIMES – Twenty countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) called today at an extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council of that forum to seek ways “in the shortest possible time” to help solve the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, reported dpa news.
The delegations – including Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Canada and the United States – agreed on a statement calling for continued consideration of “options, with the participation of all parties in Venezuela, to support the functioning of democracy and respect for the rule of law within the Venezuelan constitutional framework.”
The countries that signed the declaration pointed to the need to find “concrete proposals to define a course of action that helps identify diplomatic solutions in the shortest possible time” within the institutional framework of the OAS and through consultations with all member states.
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, supported the declaration of the twenty countries “to identify solutions in the shortest possible time for Venezuela.”
Mexico’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso explained at the end of the meeting that from now on “concrete steps” will become “in the next days” a draft resolution to establish “a mechanism” that allow for analyzing “concrete proposals for accompanying a process.”
During the debate on the situation in Venezuela, delegations opted for dialogue and considered various tools available to help resolve the crisis in the South American country.
As the meeting began, Venezuela tried to stop the extraordinary gathering of the Permanent Council convened at the request of 18 member states. The Venezuelan delegation said that the session violated the rules governing the organization and recalled that it had been convened without its consent.
Nicaragua and Bolivia supported the protest calling it interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. After an hour of arguing, the majority voted to move on with the debate.
The member states simply discussed the tools available within the OAS to help the Venezuelan people overcome the crisis, but did not make concrete decisions.
Among the tools being discussed are the possibility of establishing a “group of friends”, sending a delegation to Venezuela, raising the political level of OAS discussions, creating working groups or holding meetings “at least once a month” within the organization to analyze the situation in the country and the progress in the dialogue between the Venezuelan Government and the opposition.
The meeting did not vote whether or not to apply the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Venezuela, which could ultimately lead to the suspension of the country from the organization, as requested originally by Almagro.
The meeting was very tense and several delegations asked the president of the Permanent Council to call to order Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s new ambassador to the OAS, for the tone used during the session and for his attacks on other member countries.
“Venezuela needs a group of the OAS as much as Mexico needs the wall,” Moncada said at one point.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez denounced in a press conference at the end of the meeting that “there is a group of countries masked in their concern about Venezuela when the only thing that is intended is an intervention” in the country.
“And I’m going to tell you: Stop the hypocrisy, if you really intend to help Venezuela, … stop the financial blockade and the media bullies,” said the foreign minister, who assured that Venezuela “will not accept any type of intervention “.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter was approved in September 2001 in a special session of the OAS Assembly in Lima, Peru. The invocation of the Democratic Charter can end the suspension of the country of the OAS, as happened in 2009 with Honduras, following the coup suffered by the Central American country.