Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The OAS and Venezuela

I've written a lot about how Latin America has remained very hands-off with regard to Venezuela, which in my opinion has exacerbated the crisis. One vocal president has been Peru's Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who has called for invoking the OAS' Democratic Charter. In return, Venezuela's Foreign Minister argues that he is a tool.

In an official response to the statements last Sunday, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry accused its Peruvian counterpart of “obeying the interventionist rulebook of Washington to justify intervention in Venezuela, in concert with opposition groups”.   
The communique also stated that Rodriguez had demanded respect from Kuczynski during the summit’s closed door lunch, while reminding “the Peruvian government that mutual respect, sovereign equality amongst states and non-intervention in the internal matters of another state… are some of the cardinal principles of international law”. 
As always with Venezuela, there is a contradiction between one function of the OAS--protecting and promoting democracy--and "non-intervention." For Venezuela, recognizing there is a dire crisis is intervention, and certainly calling for multilateral solutions is as well. Too many Latin American leaders are too intimidated to do anything.

Latin American dithering, however, has prolonged the crisis. Non-intervention now means watching countries fall apart while you stand around. Or dance, as the case might be.


shah8 1:09 AM  

I would argue that non-intervention is a specific, if unstated policy because none want to legitimate any potential "intervention" against themselves.

And frankly (tho' I know I repeat myself), there is nothing anyone *can* do for Venezuela as far as the current suffering is concerned, and pushing a color revolution won't actually make things better for the people. Convincing the regime to make what sensible changes they can be got to do is the right behavior. Cornering the regime with a constant stream of delegitimazation rhetoric does nothing but encourage them to break the machinery of elections and governments (because they don't think "fair" is possible) and democracy in general.

More than this, this focus on Venezuela is, frankly speaking, dangerous. They are simply one of the more poorly managed country in a world context of a renewed Third World Debt crisis. There will be more countries in extreme crisis (well, Central Asia is almost there, now) and that noise will eventually to seize attention in a way Venezuela won't. And agit prop will not suffice as a policy. Peru has no leverage on Venezuela, and I doubt the current president will be anything more than a lame duck for very long, anyways. What counts are the actual resources you're willing to put to a resolution. Actual agreements among the parties that have power.

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