Chronicle of another Failed Attempt against Venezuela at the OAS

 June 24, 2017

At the closing of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Mexican city of Cancun, where again another strategy of the U.S. State Department failed to prevail, some statements are already indicating how the cycle of international aggression against Venezuela will develop.

Since the right wing financier Gustavo Tovar Arroyo carried out an attack against the diplomat and now Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada, it became known in advance of the meeting of the OAS General Assembly that the atmosphere would be one of hostility directed against Venezuela. And sure enough it was just like that with the Venezuelan delegation being harassed by the United States and its allied governments during the three days of meetings in an open attempt to impose conditions and a resolution in violation of Venezuela sovereignty.

The resolution promoted by the United States, Peru and the host country demanded to “reconsider” the call for a Constituent National Assembly (ANC), after enormous pressure and divisive actions on the Caribbean bloc, failed to be imposed. The great opportunity of the OAS to sharpen the cycle of international suffocation against Venezuela ended without a political victory for the creator and ruler of the body.

An important political fact at the closing of the General Assembly is that it has been impossible for the U.S. to impose an aggressive resolution against Venezuela in its own international body. This alone shows the geopolitical influence that Venezuela has and the skepticism shown by more than half of the members of the OAS about endorsing contentious measures instead of dialogue.

Another inescapable political fact is that the countries of the Caribbean are not only still solid against the agenda of regional intervention, but during the three days of the event at the OAS it marked clear boundaries on Venezuela, to the point that the promoters of the resolution had to call for dialogue to try and find a “political solution” to gain the support of the Caribbean bloc as allies. In short, the aggressive and confrontational tone used in reference to Venezuela, instead of winning them over it pushed away the support of a significant number of the member states of the OAS.

The OAS has been used as a platform for international support for armed violence, led by the Venezuelan opposition against the population, as a mechanism for the seizure of power through and extra, illegal‑institutional way. The call of the Venezuelan opposition to activate article 350 of the Constitution (civil disobedience), to enhance the picture of political and economic siege, reflected that they had confidence that the resolution would be adopted by way of diplomatic support. But with no resolution, and most importantly the OAS coming away with no unified policy of support for the coup d’etat against Venezuela, its intention to escalate the violence loses one of its main attractions.

Accordingly, the effectiveness of the OAS as the international platform of the coup not only depends on the adoption of a resolution, but also of its ability to influence the political pulse that the conflict is taking. With the ANC as a political and electoral mechanism, the demands made by some member countries of the OAS are losing effectiveness and the sense of moment. The Venezuelan opposition is now left mired between an institutional-political retreat to contain its fanatical followers, or accepting enormous political and legal costs to continue pushing the armed violence and the street confrontations. Either of these two decisions are costly in political terms.

Due to the fiasco that has taken place at the OAS, influential politicians and diplomats from the United States are acting rapidly to try and shift towards other methods to push an axis of international aggression against Venezuela, accepting the facts that the OAS cannot do more than it has already done to stop the ANC and to promote the new cycle of violence announced by the Venezuelan opposition.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, promoter of sanctions against Venezuela, said that the list of sanctions against Venezuelans should increase; a clear agenda of pressure to get the Treasury Department and the White House to take unilateral measures (diplomatic and financial) against the country, in an attempt to compensate for the failure of the anti-Chavez forces to achieve its goal at the OAS. For his part, Senator Marco Rubio, who belongs to the same club of anti-Cuban pro-Israel politicians threatened Haiti, Dominican Republic and El Salvador by telling them that their support for Venezuela would damage their relations with the US.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, businesswoman Nikki Haley, said today that “the Venezuelan people are suffering from hunger while its Government tramples on democracy”. Obviously Trump’s top diplomat at the UN is reacting to the failure of the OAS to tip the Venezuelan conflict in favor of the U.S. and is pushing to include Venezuela to be a topic at the UN Security Council. This is a maneuver in the game of diplomacy to not only press for sanctions and a unilateral economic against Venezuela but to increase support for an escalation of violence.

It is important in this sense to keep in perspective that the OAS was created as a regional body so that United States had an institutional mechanism which could legitimize their actions in controlling “their backyard”, without having to go through international organizations formed by other world powers. The fact that the United States has had to turn to the UN to internationalize the Venezuela issue demonstrates the apparent ineffectiveness of the former Ministry of Colonies, as well as a sign of weakness.

This fast political shift by the U.S. must be understood as a reaction to the Venezuelan proposal to include five countries of the region (Nicaragua, Uruguay, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and St. Vincent and the Grenadines), to re launch a national dialogue between the Venezuelan opposition and the Bolivarian Government. It is also necessary to remember that a new attempt for dialogue enjoys broad regional support as a mechanism to manage the Venezuelan conflict.

The context of the expulsion of Cuba from the OAS in 1962 serves to illustrate the victory of the Bolivarian Revolution that just took place in this regional forum. When the United States expelled the island from the body for having a government that “adhered to Marxism-Leninism, contrary to the rules of the Inter-American system”, they could do so without barriers or much opposition. Fourteen countries voted in favor, four abstained and two voted against it, and it did not generate any real flare up in the OAS. More than 50 years later, the context in which the siege of Venezuela is taking place is similar to the one against Cuba but anchored in a new era of interventionism. The difference being that Venezuela removed itself from the body, and at each meeting since then this has allowed Venezuela to highlight the political and institutional emptiness of the organism to influence the important and key issues of the continent. Not only with regard to the internal conflict in Venezuela but to issues close to Latin Americans such as the wall of Trump on the border with Mexico and the massacre of students in Ayotzinapa, proposed as a resolution by Venezuela. All were rejected by members of the OAS who are subordinate to the United States.

The participation of the Venezuelan delegation led by Delcy Rodríguez was historic and unprecedented. At no other time has the United States been so exposed and realigned by a South American country in an agency that the US has handled at its pleasure since its birth. The historical importance of what has happened during these past few days perhaps hasn’t been completely appreciated yet, but this new political cycle marks a key precedent that will affect the region. And Venezuela was the protagonist.

Source: Cubadebate – translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North American Bureau