Next week’s OAS agenda boasts not one, but two back to back Permanent Council meetings entirely devoted to the topic of Venezuela. The two represent opposing sides of a debate over what the least ineffective best approach the OAS should take in helping Venezuela.

Tuesday’s meeting on “Dialogue” has been called by the Maduro Venezuelan delegation, with Argentinean support. Former presidents José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Leonel Fernández and Martín Torrijos will be present, so that they may once again justify their hard-earned frequent flyer miles all over South America.

Thursday, on the other hand, is D-Day, where D stands for Democratic Charter, of the Inter-American sort. That Special Meeting of the Permanent Council will see Almagro waltz into the Sala Libertador, armed with his lengthy report on Venezuelan democracy, and, we hope, the instrumental support of Argentina, who even Capriles tried to lobby this week. The outcome of that session could very well determine whether or not the recall referendum happens in 2016.

Wait.. what? When did Argentina suddenly become indispensable to Venezuelan internal politics? Why is Argentina Madurista? Is the Pope involved? Huh?

Thankfully, Juan’s got the whole Argentina-backroom-shadyness angle covered, for your reading pleasure.

Tune in on Tuesday for the rest of this telenovela.


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  1. “Is the Pope involved? Huh?” The Pope had better be involved. If this man is truly the “vicar of Christ,” it is the time and the place for the Pontiff to emphasize basic human freedoms and to be heard among the hungry and dying of Venezuela. He should speak publicly on the matter, while NOT being political, and allow his words to supplant Venezuela’s now shredded constitution. The world will be watching.

    • The Pope “not political”? Come on, let’s get real, here. Everything is “political”. The Pope “NOT being political” is political.

    • Faustus, what is your obsession with the Pope? I am not a Catholic but whether one is Catholic, protestant, agnostic, whatever:do you think that man can do so much? Do you think he should do that before talking about the conflict in Eastern Ukraine? In Eastern Congo? In Ecuatorial Guinea? In Syria? In Iraq? In India?

      We are not in the Middle Ages. The Pope can even excommunicate Maduro. It won’t matter.
      For him to have any – any – clout as a religious leader, he needs to tread on a very narrow line.

      • I said that about Padrino Lopez. He stepped off that narrow line. To date, MUD and the AN have stayed on that narrow line.

        The Pope might come out and state that, “The Vatican and Swiss Guard have no present plans that I am aware of to stage an armed coup to take over the army and government of Venezuela under the transparent guise of making available needed medical supplies.” Said Pope Francis, “I would look silly riding a tank. The pope-mobile is more my speed, and it is air-conditioned – virtue has its rewards. Speaking of virtue, it would be nice if the acting President of that long-suffering country would abandon politics in favor of attending mass, and embrace Christian humanitarian values.”

      • I am catholic, neither. But, though I don’t like a lot of his positions, pope Juan Pablo II certainly was a diplomatic and political genius. Probably the most effective one of the 20th century.

  2. The sad fact is that nation-states do not have “friends”. They have “interests”.

    Argentina appears to have made a calculation that their medium-term interests in gaining the Secretary Generalship of the UN outweighs their potential long-term interests in having been on the right side of history in Venezuela, and preventing a situation which could destabilize the continent for decades to come. However, it is also possible that this appearance is part of an political ambush that is being prepared for the hapless Venezuelan regime.

    Unfortunately, from our seats in the peanut gallery, we have no idea what is really going to happen this week. Pass the popcorn.

    • Sad, that’s what make the International relations so interesting. Part of the problem is that MUD lobby structure at the international level is so weak, that the actual situation of Venezuela is considered for some people a rumor

  3. Zapatero’s angle has to do with future defense contracts. They got one last big one lined up but many hurdles. Cannot comment on likelyhood.

  4. If an acquiescent position towards Governments like that of Maduro and Putin is decisive in the election of an Secretary General of the UN, Europe and the US have a problem. I hope our politicians understand that early.

  5. Zapatero is UNASUR and they are working against the referendum, working against MUD and in favor of a dialogue that will delay the referendum and discourage street mobilization. They are obviously working for the Maduro narco-regime.
    Henri Falcon is MUD but he is also working together with Francisco Rodriguez, In parallel Rodriguez is an adviser to Zapatero and UNASUR, as we all heard during the session they all had in Washington.
    Pretty immoral the whole thing, don’t you think?
    In my book they are all in the same can of worms.

  6. I mean, I find it a bit surprising that her candidacy is viable as I would expect the United Kingdom not to be very keen on the prospect of an Argentinian UN Secretary General. Interestingly, Malcorra met in London with the UK Foreign Secretary a few days before Macri announced her candidacy. Officially, the positions of both countries regarding the Malvinas is unchanged, but it would be odd for the UK to be on board with Malcorra without getting something in exchange, right? Maybe some kind of under-the-table agreement regarding the dispute? There must be some people in Argentina wondering about that.

    Maybe I’ve watched way too much House of Cards lately.

  7. Let me ask something: does the US really want the Venezuelan opposition to win? It is not that it is gaining much now but: what could it gain and what could it lose?
    Imagine ideological crap would get less and less important in South America and real cooperation started to rise…would that be good for the US? I am not sure.

    As for the Pope: what do you guys expect him concretely to do? Why would he do that and not talk in similar terms about absolutely messed up Congo or about the dictatorship in Ecuatorial Guinea?

  8. Even if Argentina supports condemnation of Venezuela, it will not tip the OEA scales in favor of condemnation, so, realpolitik will probably dictate they vote their own selfish self-interest. As for the Pope’s condemnation, internally in Venezuela it would be like water running off a duck’s back, and, externally, it would just be another voice in the wilderness. The Commies have firm control of the guns/food, and will only give it up to a large popular or militaryrebellion.

  9. Utterly disgusting. I’m gobsmacked by the inhumane calculations by Macri. I firmly believe if the US had an ethic -centric foreign policy we could put the heat on the OAS in a very public way. Kerry is not the guy for that task and I’m being generous.

    Damn it!

  10. On other news, Why the MUD allowed a guy like Gallardon (condemned by Strasbourg DDHH court) to join Leopoldo Defense. Quite absurd, but it shows that the MUD does not have a real grip of the International aspect of politics

  11. Interestingly, Malcorra will not attend the OAS meeting on Thursday (a.k.a. D-Day) because that day she is scheduled to address the UN Special Committee on Decolonization to talk about the Malvinas issue…

    …and what a coincidence that the UN Special Committee on Decolonization is chaired by our very own Rafael Ramírez.


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