San Salvador.– In an atmosphere of compromise reflecting the principle of unity within diversity which characterizes the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a Ministerial meeting of the regional bloc, requested by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was held in the capital of El Salvador, yesterday May 2.
The encounter, called to review threats to Venezuela's constitutional order and interventionist actions challenging its independence, sovereignty and self-determination, included the participation of representatives from 26 countries.
Reaffirmed during the meeting was the importance of CELAC as a space for regional countries to discuss their true interests, rather than deal with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the U.S. which has historically abused and dominated the region.
In their comments, participants condemned the wave of violence unleashed against Venezuela's constitutional order and, in the same vein, expressed their support for the call made by Pope Frances to promote dialogue, as well as work being done by a group of former Presidents and efforts by the Bolivarian government toward this end, in addition to President Maduro's decision to call a Constituent Assembly.
CUBA HIGHLIGHTS OBLIGATION TO UPHOLD THE PROCLAMATION OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN AS A ZONE OF PEACE
Speaking during the meeting, the head of Cuba's delegation, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, highlighted CELAC's historic responsibility in solving the region's problems, while recalling the longstanding complicity of the OAS in coups, social violence, forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, the murder of journalists and social activists on the continent, not to mention the brutal effect of neo-liberal policies imposed on peoples.
For those who seem to be ignoring the violent role of opposition factions in Venezuela, Minister Rodríguez, recalled their involvement in the coup against Chávez in 2002, the attack on the Cuban Embassy in Caracas, endangering the lives of women and children residing therein, and the brutal assaults on Bolivarian ministers.
He also emphasized that the coup attempt was supported by the United States and the OAS, as well as some European politicians.
At that time CELAC didn’t exist, noted the Minister, who went on to recall the OAS silence following such incidents, in order to highlight the difference in attitudes between then and now, which just goes to verify the double standards and politically motivated actions of some governments.
Cuba's Foreign Minister called on participants to condemn the use of the courts by political parties and media allies as political weapons; as well as manipulation of efforts to combat corruption, with the aim of criminalizing and persecuting prominent figures, for purely political purposes.
Noting that the call made by Pope Francis and recent proposals by President Maduro are paving the way for a return to dialogue and resolution, he also warned that such efforts will be futile if those gathered at the meeting are not able to condemn the acts of violence and attacks on Venezuela's constitutional order currently occurring in the country.
We must ask ourselves, continued Rodríguez Parrilla, who could benefit from destabilizing the region, or a wave of violence in any one of our countries. We must ask ourselves if this would not harm the interests of our states, and all peoples and governments of the region, both the right and left wing.
He also recalled the constant threat of U.S. intervention, and asked whether Latin America and the Caribbean would be willing to see all the progress made since CELAC was founded undone, to instead settle their affairs with Washington.
Finally, Cuba's Foreign Minister warned that those unable to condemn coup violence today and support dialogue, would be betraying the solemn commitment they assumed when in 2014, heads of state and government signed the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, in Havana.