CARICOM: Still divided on Venezuela at Organization of American States


(BROOKLYN, New York):  — Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries continue to adopt competing narratives and different visions of instructional authority that divide the region on supporting opposition leader Juan Guaidó, as the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, this time on the acceptance of his permanent representative at the Organization of American States (OAS).

CARICOM has adopted a position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

The Permanent Council of the OAS recently approved a resolution on the situation in Venezuela in which it resolved “to accept the appointment of Gustavo Tarré as the national assembly’s designated permanent representative, pending new elections and the appointment of a democratically elected government.” Guaidó, is recognized as the Interim presidency of Venezuela by the US and most of the 34 members of the OAS, which considers the administration of Nicolas Maduro illegitimate.

The resolution was approved with 18 countries in favor: Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia.

Nine countries voted against the OAS initiative: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Grenada, Mexico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Uruguay. Six countries abstained: Barbados, El Salvador, Guyana, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize was absent.

Recently a select group of four CARICOM heads of government met with US President Donald Trump, as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support of the US position on Venezuela, contrary to the official CARICOM position on the issue of non-interference.

The selected leaders from The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, along with the Dominican Republic, were promised a high-level delegation from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. These countries voted in favor of recognizing the opposition envoy designated at the OAS.

Secretary-general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, welcomed Tarré to the hemispheric institution stating, “We will work to deepen the path to democratization, peace and justice for Venezuela.”

He claimed that “the voices in favor of democracy in the hemisphere” voted for the resolution that accepted his appointment. Tarré highlighted the struggle of Almagro for the freedom of his country, and the step taken by the Permanent Council in recognizing him in his post, adding, “The usurpation ended concerning the chair of Venezuela, now we will work for a transition government and free elections.”

On social media Tarré celebrated, saying, “Today we achieved the cessation of the usurpation of our chair in permanent council of the OAS, an important step to achieve the objectives set by President Juan Guaidó.” Maduro called the OAS’s decision a “criminal and rampant violation of international law and the OAS charter.”

The Venezuelan foreign ministry said in a statement. “The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reaffirms its irrevocable decision to leave the Organization of American States on April 27, 2019… given that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela cannot remain in an organization that goes to its knees before the imperial interests of the US administration.”

Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, said that, with this decision, the US government is aiming to expel the representatives of Venezuela in international organizations and impose people “that we are not sure whom they represent exactly.”


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