Photo: RCN Radio retrieved

On Thursday, January 10, in Washington, DC, the OAS Permanent Council finally had the votes to approve a Resolution that “does not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro’s new term as of January 10, 2019”, and among other things, “calls for new presidential elections” to be held in Venezuela with the participation of international observers as guarantors of its fairness and transparency.

It was the first time in a while that this regional community of states achieved enough votes to have a formal document condemning the Maduro regime approved at the OAS.  

This move by the OAS Permanent Council, whose Presidency is currently under the government of El Salvador, signals the beginning of the isolation of the Maduro regime from the international community.

It also signals (finally) the full support of the majority of the democratic states in the Inter-American system to the Venezuelan people and democratic institutions in the country.

Here’s the list of nominal votes:

Antigua and Barbuda Abstain
Argentina In favor
Barbados Abstain
Belize Abstain
Bolivia Against
Brazil In Favor
Canada In Favor
Chile In Favor
Colombia In Favor
Costa Rica In Favor
Dominica Against
Dominican Republic In Favor
Ecuador In Favor
El Salvador Abstain
Grenada Did not participate
Guatemala In favor
Guyana In Favor
Haiti In Favor
Honduras In Favor
Jamaica In Favor
Mexico Abstain
Nicaragua Against
Panama In Favor
Paraguay In Favor
Peru In Favor
St. Kitts and Nevis Abstain
St. Lucia In Favor
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Against
Suriname Against
Bahamas In favor
Trinidad and Tobago Abstain
United States of America In Favor
Uruguay Abstain
Venezuela Against

 

A total of 19 countries voted in favor of approving the Permanent Council Resolution. 6 countries (the usual suspects) voted against, and there were 8 countries that abstained for voting. What can be said about this?

First, the beginning of the isolation of the Maduro regime started yesterday. 19 countries of the region, and an important number of European countries, including the President of the European Parliament, rejected the illegitimacy of the regime, and have even started cutting diplomatic ties with Venezuela. Paraguay took the lead.

The OAS Resolution marks the agenda for the community of democratic states in support of the Venezuelan people, and the conditions for the Maduro regime to have any sort of dialogue with fellow nations.

Second, only four countries of the region had their heads of state attend Maduro’s so-called “swearing-in ceremony”: Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. We know the story with Cuba. The representatives of Bolivia and Nicaragua to the OAS, as expected, voted with Venezuela against the  resolution while their presidents were with Maduro in Caracas. President Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador also joined Maduro, Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega at the “party”, but their representative, interestingly enough, abstained from the voting at the OAS.

On Thursday, Sánchez Cerén’s Secretary of Communications was reducing the importance of the president’s trip to Venezuelan in support of Maduro as part of the president’s “normal,” day-to-day agenda. Being apologetic about his appearance in Caracas? He had to, his support to Maduro is taking votes away from the FMLN candidate, Hugo Martínez, for the February elections in El Salvador.

As evidenced in more recent decisions, Ecuador under President Moreno did an about-face and voted against Venezuela. The president explained his reasons in a video yesterday.

Three surprises, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, beneficiaries for years of PetroCaribe diplomacy decided to go rogue. They voted in favor of the resolution. Does that mean they finally understand there are no more Petro dollars coming in? And that they now have to rely on the United States for financial support for their economies? If that’s the case, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis didn’t get that memo. Yesterday, once again, they voted against democracy and human rights in Venezuela.

The sad vote was Mexico’s (apart from Uruguay that doesn’t seem to have it clear where it stands in terms of their support for Almagro, and Venezuelan democracy and respect for human rights).

Mexico had been one of the strategic leaders of the group of countries who had the courage to bring the conversation about democratic breakdown in Venezuela to the Permanent Council in 2017. On January 10, Mexico abstained. President López Obrador even authorized his charge d’affaires at the Mexican Embassy in Caracas to attend. A second-level official, yes, but…

Trinidad and Tobago, whose Prime Minister is close friends with Maduro, was the surprise vote. They abstained from the voting. Interesting.

This time the message coming from the OAS was clear, meridiano pues: “Enough with you Maduro.” If Guaidó and the democratic leadership in Venezuela understand the message of support, we all hope they have the courage to assume what we are all demanding from them: real leadership. This time with the full support of the international community, and finally, with an OAS Resolution sealing that support. APROBADO.

 

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55 COMMENTS

  1. Personally, I think the OAS vote was a significant blow to Maduro. He can’t be pleased with the trend and with PDVSA’s collapse now visible from outer space, the pressure seems to be enormous.

    Here in my tiny town a lot of people are suddenly talking about the collapsing economy and their belief that Maduro’s days are numbered.

    We shall see.

  2. We shall see as you say my friend. I have a good feeling about this all this time. This last big jump (still rising) in the dollar is going to stimulate a reaction. Most people don’t even realize what’s happened yet. Word is just starting to get out.
    Oh and by the way senator, did you get the email I sent you?

    • Marc, hadn’t gotten the email but then haven’t been able to open yahoo for a couple of days. Internet service has been super crappy here lately. I’ll write you asap. Interested in talking to you by phone.

  3. Another way to look at the results of the vote of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States is to consider the relative population of the countries that voted the resolution not recognizing the legitimacy of Maduro’s new term.

    Of an overall population of 968.7 million of the member states that voted, countries with a total of 13.7% of the population decided to abstain. Those countries with a total of 81.2% of the population voted in favor of the measure while countries with 5.1% of the population voted against the measure, which is a proportion of 16 to 1.

    Maduro go home.

    • The problem is that the government couldn’t care less of what the OAS or the US thinks. The only way that things will change is either intervention from outside actors or an internal military coup which may get rid of Maduro but not likely the PSUV. Both of these scenarios are unlikely. So while January 23rd looms and we all hope something will happen I will make a prediction. They know it’s coming. They will close the metro, stall, throw tear gas and we are back to square 1. This will not end anytime soon.

      • Personally I don’t think more repression is going to fly at this point. The people are waking up. You can boil the shit out of a frog all day long but throw it in the microwave and watch what happens.

        • They do care , even if these events dont pose an inmmediate risk of a coup (as far as we know) , they do represent an increased erosion in their diplomatic and poliical base , and things are still getting worse ……., when the govt is toppled most likely it will happen all of a sudden , no one will know whats coming !!

  4. Hey, college kids!

    Spring break is coming up fast and this is a chance to do something for human rights. Copy the above list and spread the word as to the way each country voted, and favor those, “In Favor” countries with your travel/party plans. Make posters and put them on bulletin boards. Bahamas, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic are great places to party.

    Black list Mexico! Your dorm room doesn’t need a sarape or stuffed baby alligator.

  5. From ethical and historical standpoints, it makes no sense to point to the OAS as proof of anything, except the positions of individual member nations.

    The organization as a whole holds no worth.

  6. For those outside venezuela these news probably haven’t reached your feeds. But Guaidó was detained by sebin when traveling for another cabildo, but was released minutes after. Sounds like there are two warring factions within chavizmo that don’t know what the fuck to do with Guaidó.

    • No… something else going on, looks like what Carupano said is going on. Now Jorge says they are going to spank the SEBIN agents responsible for the show.

  7. Wife is pissed off again.. the naivety of Guaido and lack of direction from the mud. She suggested that he take the presidential oath at the AN, and then skeddle to an embassy, maybe Canada, for asylum. From there start to assemble his cabinet. See what Chavismo does then.. At least a safe place to draw supporters an protests.

  8. Lorenzo, what a great idea, a student boycott against the countries supporting Chavismo but wait… there is a problem Students only boycott, protest against countries who violate the rules of the left. You came very close to a brilliant idea except for that fatal oversight.

  9. I wonder how many pilots are on constant stand by with flight plans to ferry their Chavista employers to Cuba. This could happen faster than we had anticipated beginning with a schism within the ranks of the chavistas with a rump group post Maduro willing to negotiate.

    • with a rump group post Maduro willing to negotiate.
      Since when has a Chavista ever negotiated? My way or the highway is the Chavista creed.

  10. Our local chinese merchant, who’d rather work than eat, actually closed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A rare event here. I’m sure it’s related to the chaos on the dollar market, but still.

  11. Why does the free money have to run dry? Maduro can create as much electronic money as he wants. As for the effect on inflation that’s the pleubo’s problem.

  12. Those who comment criticizing as futile the approval of the OAS measure against the regime and who advocate an invasion of Venezuela should reconsider their thinking.

    The Soviet Union was dismantled without a single shot being fired; constant internal and external pressure did the job. The Solidarity movement in Poland held protests against the Communist government. In a mass gathering in Krakow the pope criticized communism as a moral evil. In Berlin Reagan denounced the wall and the authoritarian enslavement of the population. For a long time it seemed that actions such as these were merely symbolic and less than useless to bring down the regime. It appeared that the Soviet Union would last forever. Then, to everyone’s surprise, it collapsed suddenly under its own weight without a single shot being fired.

    The Rambo-inspired alternative for Venezuela would probably look much like the 1989-90 invasion of Panama where perhaps thousands of innocent people died just to arrest one thug.

    But sitting on our collective hands is not the answer. A Berlin airlift type of operation in Venezuela to parachute much needed food and medicines would help to once again galvanize its now disheartened population to challenge a culture of lies without the need of firing a single shot.

    Let’s give peace a chance, intensify the pressure and be grateful to the OAS for siding with the Venezuelan people in their irresistible thirst for freedom.

  13. Apparently they don’t like it when you talk about their censorship. They will censor that as well. Since they won’t tell us directly what causes a comment to get deleted I guess it has become a game of guess and test. Make a comment, see if it gets deleted, make an inference as to why, repeat and check results to confirm theory. Oh goody! I like games!

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