For Friday, June 24, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
“Democracy has no nationality, democracy is freedom.” Luis Almagro
The agenda for the meeting of the Organization of American States had only two points: the presentation of SecGen Luis Almagro’s report and the arguments of each member State. Nothing more. The Libertador Simón Bolívar hall was the meeting’s stage. Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister Delcy Rodríguez opposed the agenda and demanded a vote to dismiss it, based on the argument: “Almagro is launching a coup d’Etat against this organization.” The Head of the Permanent Council (Argentina) proposed a vote, and 20 votes in favor dissolved the discrepancy. The meeting itself was a defeat for the Venezuelan government.
A necessary summary
Living your country’s progressive decay -while you survive- can block your ability to measure all the variables involved in such a profound crisis. Luis Almagro efficiently x-rayed our circumstance in depth. He ignored no aspect of the disaster, contrasting our country’s data with the conditions that should be fulfilled for a government to be considered democratic. Aside from elections, in which the PSUV has always had enormous advantages, there’s nothing democratic about the Venezuelan government.
Almagro requested the creation of a group of allied countries to help Venezuela overcome this severe political and economic crisis. He said that the goal was not to punish Venezuela, but rather “to support a member State and help them get back on the democratic track,” adding that democracy is the legitimate exercise of power within the Rule of Law. He insisted that the recall referendum must take place this year, demanded the release of political prisoners and advocated for Branch autonomy, an issue that has undermined the National Assembly’s work: “What we have witnessed in Venezuela is the loss of moral and ethical purpose in politics,” considering that our crisis is multi-faceted. He closed with Desmond Tutu’s phrase: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Second point of the day
It’s worth noting that Delcy was outside the chamber during Almagro’s entire presentation. Some member States appeared to have read texts that were unrelated with the report being presented, while the vast majority declared their support for the fictional dialogue, as if dialogue in itself could mean some progress for a population in urgent need of food, medicines and safety.
The speeches of representatives from Canada, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Chile (the best speaker), the U.S., Colombia and Guyana, who had the sense to explain the pertinence of the IADC based on their own recent history, were like hives for the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister. Add this to the fact that not even Nicolás’s biggest allies (Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua) spoke about the “economic war,” “bachaquero violence” or the constant plans for a right-wing coup d’Etat. None of them challenged Almagro’s report, they only questioned his active role in this campaign and even demanded his resignation. This is a crucial detail.
Although the PSUV assumes otherwise, anger isn’t the best of states in which to enter arguments. Anger denies diplomacy and means barbarity, stubbornness and a poor sense of protocol. The Foreign Affairs minister revealed her considerable confusion between the concepts of State and Government, how accustomed she is to imposing her own opinion as a member of the regime and even how little she knows about the OAS’s Charter, speaking about the “military intervention” established in its article 110, although this article doesn’t even mention that concept.
She was so angry, that she made disastrous mistakes like accusing Almagro’s report of incurring in “lack of partiality” – which means it was impartial -, adding that she promoted the approval of the meeting’s agenda to show that there’s a coup d’Etat against Nicolás in the making within the OAS, although she voted against said agenda. After seeing her scream, it´s improbable that any ambassador would seriously trust in the Venezuelan government’s capacity for dialogue, or at least in Delcy’s.
She repeated that there’s no humanitarian crisis here. She rejected the OAS’s mediation proposal because anyone who questions her government is a golpista, an invader, a controller and a meddler. She said that she never requested -or will request- the OAS’s logistical and technical support -for their golpista tradition- because she trusts only in UNASUR. The minister admitted that the conflict promoted by and for the Venezuelan opposition is unacceptable for the government. Although they encouraged the Armed Forces’ political partisanship, it insults them that the opposition has a voice. She used Colombia for the clumsiest example she could’ve made up: “I can’t imagine what Colombians would feel if the golpista Álvaro Uribe Vélez tried to join their peace efforts.”
And thus, Delcy ended the meeting that leaves a seriously unfavorable balance for the Venezuelan government in the best possible way. Colombia’s ambassador guaranteed her that, in his country, they actually know how to cohabitate with the opposition, and that former presidents are treated with respect regardless of their tendencies.
A SEBIN commission took La Patilla journalist Román Camacho, to question him. Román allegedly went with them willingly and is currently in their headquarters at El Helicoide. The reason for the questioning, according to La Patilla, was the investigation regarding a video published on his Twitter account (@RCamachoVZLA) where BCV’s attacker, Juan Oliveros García, says that he’d do it “because the people are hungry.”
Our everyday depreciation: the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 615.47 per dollar, increasing Bs. 0.54 this Thursday.