Thursday, June 02, 2016

OAS Declaration on Venezuela

Here is the official declaration issued by the Permanent Council of the OAS yesterday. It calls for dialogue, which is what we would expect, and although it does not say anything specifically about what's happening in Venezuela, it does so indirectly:

Support for the various national dialogue initiatives that may lead to, in accordance with the constitution and full respect for human rights, the timely and effective resolution of differences and the consolidation of representative democracy.

You could easily take "timely" to refer to getting a recall referendum underway this year, as the timing of that is extremely important (Henrique Capriles takes "dialogue" to mean" referendum"). Further, the statement clearly says that representative democracy is not consolidated in Venezuela. But they're pretty vague, enough that the Maduro government can declare victory.

I suggested yesterday that Argentina could take a central role in pushing Venezuela. This turned out to be wrong because I had not taken into consideration Susana Malcorra's bid for the UN Secretary General position, which has led her to take a much softer position than her own president. She does not want a strong stance on Venezuela to torpedo her chances.

Along with Colombia, Chile, and Uruguay, two days ago Argentina did sign on to a statement encouraging the recall referendum:

"En estos momentos de profunda preocupación por la democracia y los derechos humanos y por el futuro político, económico y social en Venezuela, manifestamos nuestro apoyo a este esfuerzo de entendimiento y diálogo y a los procedimientos constitucionales tal como el relativo al referéndum revocatorio",

But that obviously got watered down, with the referendum itself being alluded to rather than mentioned.

So, still developing...

Update: See Boz's more positive take on how even a mild declaration moves the needle.


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