For Wednesday, May 31, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, invoked the activation of the Democratic Charter according to its article 20, after presenting the 132 page report supporting his request as well as the call for a Permanent Council meeting of member states between June 10 and 20. The report explains the reasons why Venezuela’s crisis constitutes a severe rupture of the democratic order, referencing the humanitarian situation, economy control mechanisms, deficiencies in basic services, corruption, political prisoners and lack of government branch autonomy.

The motos march

This Tuesday, the driver who reached the Presidency out of sheer obedience had the perfect audience. Perfect to tell his story with all the idiocies of socialism and inspire motorizados and taxi drivers about the virtue of loyalty. Because even though there are no parts for vehicles and they’re forced to queue up to buy a battery, and even though  a tire costs around 8 minimum wages, being loyal to the PSUV is better than being free. But he was beaten by Almagro and his request.

He accused Henry Ramos Allup of being a madman, which was, in fact, an exercise of projection. Nicolás yelled in all pitches -from deception to anger- using independence and sovereignty as excuses to keep doing whatever he wants with nobody to stop him. He said that he only recognizes the National Constitution as Law, forgetting that the Constitution ratifies international agreements; swearing that he’ll fight the OAS because nobody bullies and intervenes Venezuela. Because the revolution stays, period. He even reminisced about when he used to work, circa the 90’s.

The historic trial

The most important thing this Tuesday afternoon can be said with these words: “I’ve decided to file a lawsuit before the Foreign Affairs Ministry against the National Assembly’s board, for usurping the President’s authority. A lawsuit with immediate protection because they’re attempting to request international institutions to interfere in Venezuela, and that’s treason.” Nobody’s usurping anything, because the Democratic Charter was invoked by the OAS’s secretary general, not by the AN’s board.

Nicolás discredits the AN, blocks its decisions and part of its attributions, prevents the activation of the recall referendum, but he’s insulted by the OAS’s reaction. Obviously the lawsuit will have to be filed before the TSJ and many things will happen before it goes to trial, but he said that it will be processed nationwide and will require the people’s support. If that support is the same as his popularity, he already lost the trial. The one that hasn’t started yet, mind you. He lost reason a while ago.

Reactions

Henry Ramos Allup issued a statement regarding Luis Almagro’s request: “Considering all the demands and complaints we’ve been making before appropriate authorities, so that the OAS openly discusses Venezuela’s situation, he proceeded in accordance to his responsibilities  (…) the Secretary General will formulate the case and we’ll see how it develops. We won’t speculate,” he added with all the moderation demanded by the occasion. I insist, Venezuelan politics have no better spokesman than Ramos Allup right now.

25 former presidents and prime ministers, members of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), supported Luis Almagro’s efforts this Tuesday, restating their concern about the rupture of constitutional and democratic order in Venezuela and exhorting the government to respect the Constitution and allow a peaceful, democratic, constitutional and electoral solution to the serious institutional, political and humanitarian crisis the country experiences.

Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Eladio Loizaga, said that he supports Almagro’s decision and disagreed with the actions of head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, regarding the Venezuelan crisis, for not consulting with member states and issuing unilateral statements for all of them.

Finally, Ernesto Samper said in Paris -after meeting with Jose Serra, Brazil’s new Foreign Affairs minister – that there will be a new mediation meeting next week between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, who might meet face to face, adding that Pope Francis has offered to cooperate with the process.

Some clarifications

Forgetting José Manuel Zelaya, former president of Honduras, Nicolás has lied several times about the Democratic Charter’s origin, not mentioning that Venezuela helped write it and accepted it. His reaction this Tuesday – much more moderate than on Monday – greatly helps Almagro’s cause. All of his shrillness provides reasons for those who still doubt, so if he wants to do daily cadenas, that’s fine by me.

Nicolás wants to save himself through the role of victim. Since none of the 20 coup d’etat attempts he’s denounced have taken place, he acts as if the Democratic Charter could turn him into the Fidel of this new version of Venezuela -so much like Cuba- and blames the consequences of his decisions on a self-inflicted default through violations against the Rule of Law, institutional and productive failure, corruption and impunity.

The Argentine Foreign Relations minister – who also called for the Permanent Council meeting this Wednesday – is in the race as a candidate for the UN’s Secretary General post and her agenda differs from that of the Venezuelan opposition. The goal of Wednesday’s Council meeting is to issue a joint statement about Venezuela’s crisis, which could accelerate, slow down or shut down Almagro’s invocation of the Charter. That’s why we must appreciate Almagro’s courage, maybe his determination isn’t shared by as many countries as we need, but it places our collapse in the spotlight with an urgent call for democracy and civility.

Remember: Almagro proposes, the Permanent Council decides whether the proposal is founded – with the favorable vote of 18 countries – and the General Assembly activates the application – with 23 votes -.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I would not have thought that Almagro would call for the meeting if he did not already have have the 23 votes committed.

  2. Someone explained to me that the way Venezuela acted after Lugo was deposed in Paraguay seeded plenty of bad blood in Paraguay. The measures sponsored by Chavez hurt Paraguay so it seems this is payback time.

    As for Almagro, if he doesn’t get this one through he will need to resign. As for OAS, it will be as the UN which Mafalda characterized as “simpaticos inoperantes” in the 60s.

  3. I hope Almagro worked out the votes before jumping. If his initiative fails, it will embolden Maduro and basically kill the momentum including the referendum.
    I also hope (because hope is what is left) that the Macri government walk the talk and do not short sale us.

  4. There is absolutely no way Almagro can get those 23 votes. There are 34 votes in total, so no more than 11 countries can vote against it (or abstain).

    To begin with, we have 16 countries in PetroCaribe: Antigua y Barbuda, Bahamas, Belice, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Granada, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, República Dominicana, San Vicente y Granadinas and Surinam. Taking into account that Costa Rica also wants to join, that’ll be 17 votes against it.

    Then we have the countries ideologically aligned with chavismo: Bolivia and Ecuador (Nicaragua is counted already above).

    So, at most, Almagro can get 15 votes, maybe less depending on Argentina and even Colombia (it wouldn’t be the first time Santos favors the Venezuelan government).

    This baby is death before it was even born.

    • Maybe the point of this exercise is to ca these countries out and put the blame for the coming disaster squarely on their shoulders.

    • Well if Almagro took on a fight without a path to success he is a bad diplomat and certainly a bad politician.

      I read in the NYT about Petrocaribe:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/world/americas/venezuela-oas-maduro.html?ref=world

      In the past, Venezuela managed a reliable voting block in the O.A.S. by doling out largess through groups like Petrocaribe, an organization where Venezuela provides cheap oil to Caribbean nations. It also bankrolled regional groups like Unasur, a more pliant body that replicated jobs handled by the O.A.S., like election observing. But the current economic crisis has put the pinch on both.

    • I wouldn’t count on all the Petro Caribe states to vote with the Vzlan. gov’t. Their is a fair amount of U.S. Aid on the table which might result in some votes falling in line with the “Empire”. I applaud Almagro’s efforts, but am skeptical he has the needed votes. Hope I’m proven wrong. Your observation about Santos is very keen; he’s delusional about hoping to get the Nobel peace prize.

  5. Probably true, which only underlines Almagro’s courageous support of democratic principles. Meanwhile, HRA says that the TSJ is going to declare the RR cannot be done in 2016. All of which leaves Venezuela back to square 1: acceleration into the abyss, awaiting only public uprising (still not visible), or lower-level military uprising (not predictable), to effect change….

    • If the OAS closes the door to the invocation of the Carta Democratica, AND the TSJ closes the door to the RR, that will leave no other path open except open rebellion. At that point, the Opposition can say they tried EVERYTHING else, and are left with no other choice.

  6. Well….by the reaction of Maduro something frightened him…the powerful don’t get louder and more vulgar. .they make a move.”.I dont care what he says, he’s scar ..and there are no more moves to make…….the chavista Elite are finally worried..the spotlight is going full blast on them..finally.
    So now it’s a fight to the death….seems there’s no other way.

Leave a Reply