[News] Venezuela and Bolivia Condemn “Coup” at OAS

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 5 11:15:10 EDT 2017


https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13028


  Venezuela and Bolivia Condemn “Coup” at OAS

By Lucas Koerner

Caracas, April 3, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/venezuelanalysis.com>) – Venezuela 
and Bolivia condemned Monday what they termed a “coup” in the 
Organization of American States (OAS) after an extraordinary session 
concerning Venezuela was held without the presence of the president and 
vice-president pro tempore in violation of internal protocols.

On Friday, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro called a “special meeting” 
scheduled for Monday to discuss a since-reversed Venezuelan Supreme 
Court ruling that would have empowered the judiciary to assume 
parliamentary functions in light of the opposition-controlled National 
Assembly’s contempt of the constitution.

The meeting was, however, suspended Monday morning by Bolivia, which 
assumed the OAS Permanent Council’s rotating presidency Saturday, on the 
grounds that the Bolivian delegation “was not consulted and did not 
receive any information” regarding the session it was meant to facilitate.

In an official statement, Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry indicated that the 
session would be rescheduled “once the necessary coordination had been 
carried out in the framework of the OAS Charter and organizational norms”.

Despite the cancelation, at around 3pm in the afternoon a group of 20 
countries decided to hold the meeting regardless, designating Honduras 
as “interim president” in the absence of the president, Bolivia, and the 
vice-president, Haiti.

The move was sanctioned by OAS legal advisor Jean Michel Arrighi, who 
argued that in the absence of Bolivia the presidency could be exercised 
by the longest serving representative in the body, whom he claimed was 
Honduran delegate Leonidas Rosa Bautista.

However, screenshots of the OAS’ official delegate page uploaded by 
Venezuela’s OAS mission revealed that in fact Bolivia’s representative, 
Diego Pary Rodriguez, is the longest serving ambassador to the OAS.

Rodriguez, for his part, slammed the motion to go ahead with the session 
presided by Honduras as an “illegal” usurpation of its powers in 
violation of the organization’s internal statutes.

“Today what is happening is an institutional coup and a disregard for 
international norms,” he affirmed.

Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela all called points of order 
during the intervention of Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra in 
an attempt to abort the meeting. The representatives form Bolivia, 
Nicaragua, and Ecuador subsequently walked out of the session in protest.

Notwithstanding the objections, Honduras proceeded to open debate over a 
text presented by Peru that declared an “altercation of the 
constitutional order” in Venezuela and resolved to “urge action by the 
Venezuelan government to safeguard the separation and independence of 
powers”.

After nearly 24 minutes of debate, Venezuela’s delegate, Samuel Moncada, 
also walked out of the session, condemning the violation of the OAS 
Charter’s “principle of non-intervention” as well as the body’s internal 
rules.

In particular, the Venezuelan ambassador denounced Malcorra’s remarks 
during the session, after she called for neighboring countries to 
exercise “tutelage” over Venezuela to “ensure compliance with the 
electoral timetable”.

Quoting Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, he declared, “he who 
wants to be an eagle can fly, he who wants to be a worm can crawl, but 
don’t cry when you’re stepped on”.

El Salvador similarly protested the “abnormal manner” in which Honduras 
assumed the presidency, urging dialogue as the only solution to the 
current standoff in Venezuela, a call that was seconded by the Dominican 
Republic.

Despite the dissentions, the Mexican delegation motioned for the 
resolution “to be adopted without proceeding to a vote”, a proposal that 
was also backed by Chile.

Canada’s ambassador, for her part, proposed for the vote to be postponed 
until Wednesday in order to have more member-states present at the session.

Ultimately, the resolution was not subject to an official vote, being 
instead approved by consensus with the support of just 15 of 35 
member-states: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, 
United States, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Barbados, Guatemala, 
Panama, and Uruguay.

Meanwhile, Belize, Bahamas, El Salvador, and Dominican Republic refused 
to support the document.

The resolution was roundly condemned as a “coup d’état” by Caracas and 
La Paz.

Speaking on national television Monday evening, Venezuelan President 
Nicolas Maduro called the move “a coup against the sister peoples of 
Bolivia and Haiti”.

“It’s shameful what they are doing, I think the OAS has gone on to 
become an anti-Venezuela, anti-Bolivarian inquisition court,” he asserted.

Bolivian President Evo Morales likewise took to Twitter Monday to blast 
the abrogation of his country’s right to exercise the OAS pro tempore 
presidency.

“Once again the OAS has become the Ministry of Colonies. An 
institutional coup has occurred to prevent Bolivia from exercising the 
presidency,” he said

The OAS Permanent Council is set meet again on Wednesday for an ordinary 
session, though it remains unclear if Venezuela will be on the agenda.

Published on Apr 4th 2017

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