Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced that the country will begin the process of exiting the Organization of American States after the organization's Permanent Council agreed Wednesday to convene a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss Venezuela, with 19 votes in favor, 10 against, one abstention and one absence.
The diplomat asserted that the OAS seeks to criminalize the Venezuelan government and destabilize constitutional democracy, in order to facilitate foreign intervention, adding that she and President Nicolas Maduro will present a letter to the OAS stating that "Venezuela will not participate in any activities that promote interventionism," adding that the exit process will take 24 months.
President Nicolas Maduro reacted to the OAS action on his Twitter account, saying, "The Venezuela Bolivarian Revolutionary and Chavistas will continue their march toward our true independence and nothing and nobody will stop us."
Rodriguez also thanked sister nations for standing with the Bolivarian country, adding that on May 2, Venezuela will be in San Salvador with CELAC to denounce the interventionism of the OAS in perpetuating imperialist interests.
Samuel Moncada, Venezuela's representative to the Organization of American States, said that the fate of the South American nation will never be decided by institutions such as the OAS or Washington.
Moncada affirmed that Venezuela is an independent nation and will never accept the tutelage of any country. Moncada reiterated to the right-wing governments that attack Venezuela from the OAS that "forced aid is not aid, it is an imposition," referring to the pressures to accept intervention in their internal affairs.
OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, who has repeatedly attacked the government of Venezuela, calling for the Democratic Charter to be applied against the country that would lead to its suspension from the organization, has attracted criticism over the past year for his fixation on Venezuela.
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez reiterated Wednesday his decision to not support the application of the Democratic Charter against Venezuela, in order to avoid the "radicalization" of the situation.
During a press conference with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, the Uruguayan head of state stated that "Venezuela's problems must be solved by the Venezuelans themselves. We must extend a helping hand to the Venezuelan people."
Former presidents Martin Torrijos (Panama), Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic), Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (Spain) and Ernesto Samper (Colombia) released a statement denouncing the violence in Venezuela and calling for a peaceful solution to differences.
"The use of violence as a political tool, whatever its origin or motive, is condemnable from any point of view," the statement said.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States meeting was requested by Rodriguez. According to the diplomat, the CELAC meeting will address "threats against the constitutional order in Venezuela, as well as the interventionist actions undermining its independence, sovereignty and its right to self-determination."
Article 143 of the OAS Charter states that any member state can choose to leave the group by means of a written communication to the secretary-general and after two years from the date on which the general-secretary receives the notification, the state shall be removed from the organization.