Members of the Organization of American States, OAS, have once again failed to reach a consensus to “take action on Venezuela,” which Caracas regards as interference in its internal affairs.
At a meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS in Washington, 13 countries read a declaration calling on the Venezuelan government to abandon next Sunday's elections to a Consituent Assembly. That was two fewer member states than supported a similar resolution at the OAS foreign ministers' meeting on June 19, and five short of the number needed to pass a resolution.
Lacking sufficient support, the sponsors of the latest declaration, including the OAS General Secretary General, Luis Almagro, as well as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, declined to put it to a vote.
OAS member states have already debated the situation in Venezuela various times. But Almagro and the group of countries pushing for action against Venezuela have never managed to secure a majority to condemn the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Instead, other member states have insisted on domestic solutions and national dialogue.
During Wednesday’s Permanent Council meeting, Dominican Republic representative Gedeon Santos said the group wouldn't reach an agreement, especially after foreign ministers didn’t reach a consensus during their last meeting.
Santos said the situation in the country “can only be resolved through dialogue and consensus-building among the parties, with full respect for sovereignty and self-determination.”
Caracas has repeatedly accused the OAS and Secretary General Luis Almagro of promoting intervention and destabilization in Venezuela, with tensions hitting a boiling point in April when Venezuela began the process of leaving the organization. The socialist government left on the grounds that the regional body was threatening the country's sovereignty.
The United States has led the charge for increased intervention in Venezuela, including threatening various OAS members like El Salvador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic with diplomatic and financial action if they voted in favor of non-interference and respect for Venezuela's sovereignty.
Ecuadorean representative Marco Albuja criticized the organization for being excessively focused on Venezuela while neglecting important topics affecting the region, such as hunger, illiteracy and inadequate medical care.
"We have no other issues, we live in paradise, we have no problem except for Venezuela," Albuja said in an ironic tone.
“Venezuela’s problem must be resolved by Venezuelans.”
At Wednesday's meeting, Canada and Paraguay both called on the Venezuelan government to cancel upcoming National Constituent Assembly, called for by the government to arrive at a peaceful solution through dialogue.
Nearly 20 million Venezuelans will choose from 6,120 candidates representing diverse sectors and territories of society.
“The Secretary General of the OAS clearly launched a campaign against the legitimate government of Venezuela,” Bolivian representative Diego Pary said.
“Almagro is not longer Secretary General but an official working towards the interest of the United States.”