Thursday, April 27, 2017

Venezuela Leaving the OAS

Venezuela announced it will pull out of the OAS. This is getting compared to Cuba, which was suspended in 1962 and currently refuses to rejoin even though it has been told it can. There are, however, important differences, which all revolve around one main fact: in 1962 Cuba was operating from a position of strength. Fidel Castro thumbed his nose at the OAS and the United States, and was in complete control of his country. For Nicolás Maduro, the opposite is true. He's facing disaster at home and Chavismo is at its weakest.

For Venezuela, then, this measure is an act of desperation, a way of avoiding unpleasant votes and embarrassing pronouncements. It highlights to everyone how bad things had become in Venezuela and serves mostly to isolate Venezuela more. Few people see this in black-and-white ideological terms, which is the Cuba-type frame that Maduro wants to project.

One critical question now is how long do Bolivia and Ecuador in particular insist on pretending everything is fine? They were the key voices blocking any OAS action.


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