The Organization of American States announced the date of the meeting of its foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Venezuela for May 31, after the decision was approved Monday at a meeting of the permanent council in Washington. The meeting will take place in Washington.
On April 26, the body voted for the meeting, which Venezuela called a violation of its sovereignty, leading President Nicolas Maduro to announce the country’s formal withdrawal from the regional organization, which will take 24 months.
The roll-call vote was 18 to 1, with 13 abstentions. Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay voted in favor, while Nicaragua voted against and Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago all abstained.
It is “inadmissible that some countries try to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” said the Nicaraguan delegate, adding that the action “constitutes a hostile act against Venezuela.”
Many countries, organizations and the Venezuelan people themselves have protested the OAS moves. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States held a meeting on May 2, giving full support to Venezuela, “We are with you, with the people of Venezuela,” said Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez indicated that unlike the meetings of the OAS, CELAC did not have to endure “living the embarrassing presence of Washington with its threats and extortions.”
Rodriguez criticized OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, accusing him of responding to U.S. interests to destabilize Caracas, adding that the organization has a historical precedent of promoting interventions, coups and invasions in the region.
Almagro has repeatedly attacked the South American country while ignoring abuses throughout the region, calling for the Democratic Charter to be applied against Venezuela, which would have led to its suspension.
Rodriguez stated earlier after formally beginning the OAS exit process, “When I wake up in the morning, I am happy to say I do not have to call Washington to tell me what to do,” she said, referring not only to Almagro, but also other foreign ministers in the region who supported him in promoting actions against Venezuela.