This week will soon be a memorable ‘week that was’ in Caribbean and South American history.
It’s difficult to say ahead what it will be remembered for. But come this coming Wednesday, May 31, governments of the smaller independent nations in the two neighboring regions will show the world whether they have nurtured the ability to reject external pressures to support larger nations pursuing their own selfish political ambitions in their continental and island space.
The upcoming May 31 meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) is not without controversy, having been convened through suspicious circumstances – some of which violate the OAS’ own statutes governing summoning of meetings, as well as its ‘Democratic Charter’ relating to external intervention in the internal affairs of member-states of such regional and international bodies.
It is also a bit of history in replay, this time through a slow-motion coup against Venezuela – a small nation that is both Caribbean and South American and a stalwart state promoting political and economic integration to lessen the region’s historic and still growing dependence on North America and the European Union (EU).
Venezuela has for over a decade been advocating and charting the way, along with Cuba, for the transformation of the petroleum-based PetroCaribe initiative into a new regional political and economic pact that will lead to a Caribbean and South American Economic Zone based on pooling of resources and skills in the common interests of member-nations.
For just as long, Washington has been seeking ways and means to reverse the political tide in Caracas – and it now feels certain it can put gears in motion to achieve that intention.
Courting for blessings…
More than five decades after South American nations approved the expulsion of Cuba from the and over three decades after the Caribbean provided cover for U.S. military intervention in Grenada, today’s governments are being courted, at the OAS again, to bless another US-led intervention in their region, this time in Venezuela.
As with Cuba following its 1959 Revolution and Grenada after its 1979 Revolution, Washington has already used its powerful regional influences to divide governments in pursuit of its political objectives in a region it still considers ‘America’s backyard’.
Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1961 and has refused to return, even if invited, for as long as the OAS continues to be regarded by Havana as the ‘U.S. Ministry of Colonies in the Americas’.