CARACAS.— This Thursday, April 27, Venezuela will begin the procedure to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) following fresh intervention attempts by the body at its headquarters in Washington, according to the country’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez.
“We had announced that if disrespectful and interventionist actions continued, we would immediately proceed to denounce the OAS Charter and initiate the procedure for Venezuela’s definitive withdrawal from the organization," Rodriguez told Venezuelan television, noting that the decision had been made to follow this course.
The Foreign Minister made the announcement after the OAS Permanent Council agreed to hold a ministerial meeting to “debate the current situation in Venezuela,” during an extraordinary session held April 26.
Of the bloc’s 34 member countries, 19 voted in favor of the initiative, 10 against, while there were four abstentions and one absence.
According to Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS, Samuel Moncada, the U.S. pressured various member countries to vote in favor of the resolution to intervene in the country’s internal affairs, reported AVN.
“This meeting is taking place in the context of coercion against member states,” he noted, going on to state that “The pressure being exerted by that powerful government is having an effect, as can be seen in the media.”
Moncada also highlighted that beyond such maneuvers, the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro is openly calling for foreign intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
According to the Ambassador, Venezuela maintains that the resolution adopted in the Permanent Council on April 26 is of an interventionist nature and contrary to that established in the OAS Charter, which states that the organization will not intervene in the internal affairs of any member state.
Meanwhile, DPA reported that if the withdrawal process, which should take two years, goes ahead, Venezuela will be the first country to leave the organization of its own will; as Cuba was expelled from the bloc following pressure from the United States amid Cold War tensions, and although the decision was repealed in 2009, the island’s authorities have been emphatic in stating that they have no intention of returning.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Council has yet to set a date for the approved ministerial meeting. What has been established, however, is a meeting of CELAC Foreign Ministers on May 2, in El Salvador, to discuss the situation in Venezuela, on the request of Delcy Rodríguez, made Tuesday, April 25.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister explained that in this meeting the country will present evidence of the attacks against Venezuela’s democratic and constitutional order, as well as interventionist actions which threaten the independence, sovereignty and peace of the nation.
Over recent weeks opposition groups have held violent street protests, leaving 26 dead and over 430 injured, as well as resulting in damage to stores and public buildings.
Meanwhile Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro received thousands of young people at Miraflores Palace; marching for peace and against the wave of violence unleashed in the country.
“Wherever there is chavismo in the streets, there is peace. Wherever there are revolutionary youth in the streets, there is peace,” he stated.
Maduro also called on the country’s youth to “unite in order to build peace, to defend public education, the right to employment, sports, physical education, music, joy, happiness and wellbeing.”