The Venezuelan government urged the Organization of American States Monday to suspend a meeting scheduled for Tuesday to debate the economic and political situation in Venezuela, arguing that it violates the organization’s norms since it was planned without the consent of the South American country.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said that at the request of Luis Almagro, head of the OAS, the meeting intends to validate an intervention in the country’s internal political affairs and attack the government of President Nicolas Maduro through the application of the organization’s “Democratic Charter” against Venezuela.
The organization hasn’t confirmed if it would vote on Almagro’s demand.
Rodriguez argues that Almagro, with the support of the United States, “has formed a minority faction and has fostered a damaging international environment over the course of democratic life in Venezuela, seeking to undermine its sovereignty and independence.”
During a meeting at the OAS headquarters in Washington Monday, the Venezuelan foreign minister accused Almagro of acting to advance two objectives: destroying the country’s Bolivarian Revolution that has been praised for social advances and substituting the government of Nicolas Maduro.
“Almagro is a liar, dishonest, evildoer and mercenary,” said Rodriguez, adding that, “Almagro is not acting alone, he is a conduit for the orders that are dictated to him by Washington.”
She accused the OAS of serving U.S. interests since its beginning, pointing out how the organization kept quite in the face of almost 50 coups across Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The OAS never condemned the coup attempt against Chavez,” said Rodriguez. “The OAS supported the invasion to Guatemala and the failed invasion to Cuba.”
Almagro’s call for a meeting on Venezuela was supported by 18 countries: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay.
“Destabilizing Venezuela will have effects beyond our borders,” Rodriguez said.
If a third of the 34 members countries that are part of the OAS vote to apply the “Democratic Charter,” it would suspend Venezuela and authorize an international intervention.
“If this illegal, unilateral, deviant and biased action continues in favor of violent extremists in Venezuela, we will proceed with severity and firmness through diplomatic means, the instruments of international law and in accordance with the Venezuelan constitutional order,” said Rodriguez.
The foreign minister attended a meeting at the OAS in 2016 after members of the Venezuelan opposition asked the organization to apply the charter against their own country.
Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro are set to hit the streets on Tuesday in “anti-imperialist” marches against OAS and foreign intervention in the South American country.
Meanwhile, mediators in Venezuela’s dialogue process between the government and opposition — former presidents of Spain, the Dominican Republic and Panama Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Leonel Fernandez and Martin Torrijos — also issued a statement Monday reiterating their support for the negotiations aimed at smoothing flared political tensions between Maduro’s administration and its opponents.
The letter noted that since the OAS has mentioned the dialogue in its recent statements on the situation in the country, the former presidents facilitating the UNASUR-sponsored process felt obliged to comment on the talks and their potential.
“We think that dialogue is possible and more necessary than ever in Venezuela,” they wrote. “A dialogue based on the values of democracy, human rights and peace and managed with the only tools at our disposal: words, good faith and diplomacy.”