The Organization of American States has come under fire after holding a meeting Monday on the situation in Venezuela despite objections from pro tempore president country, Bolivia.
Venezuela vs. OAS
Bolivia’s representative at the Organization of American States Diego Pary Rodriguez described the action as an “institutional coup.”
“The OAS has committed an institutional coup, it has disregarded the presidency of Bolivia and the vice presidency of Haiti,” said Rodriguez in an interview with teleSUR.
The Andean nation had just assumed the Pro Tempore presidency of the OAS' Permanent Council, and subsequently cancelled a meeting that been called for Monday to discuss the situation in Venezuela. In a press release, the Bolivian Foreign Ministry said the meeting had been cancelled because it had been scheduled “without consultation and without delivering any information to Bolivia.”
But the permanent council went ahead with the meeting due to complaints from Mexico and Costa Rica, and without the approval of the OAS head country, proceeded with the meeting, appointing Honduras as the “interim president.”
Bolivia protested the move and subsequently walked out of the meeting, joined by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and various nations from the Caribbean.
Rodriguez explained that the presidency of the OAS permanent council “can only be replaced when it is absent or impeded” and “neither of these two conditions applies in this case.”
Venezuela and Bolivia decried the meeting and refused to participate.
A group countries continued the session and approved a declaration on the “grave, unconstitutional break in the democratic order” in Venezuela. The declaration, from which 17 of the 21 countries that remained in sessions approved, seeks to apply the democratic charter against Venezuela, a move that would effectively suspend the country from the organization.
According to Rodriguez, the measures against Venezuela are “totally illegal and arbitrary and don’t correspond to the norms of international law.”