GuyanaNewsOrganization of American States (OAS)Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic)

An intriguing turn

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Stabroek News – Hemispheric and regional reactions to the situation in Venezuela have taken an intriguing turn.

Last Friday, the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) approved a declaration, expressing “Solidarity and Support for Democratic Institutions, Dialogue and Peace in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” and “appreciation, full support and encouragement for the initiatives and the efforts of the democratically-elected Govern-ment of Venezuela and all political, economic and social sectors to continue to move forward with the process of national dialogue towards political and social reconciliation, in the framework of full respect by all democratic actors for the constitutional guarantees of all.” Sounds reasonable; support for the declaration was, however, not unanimous, with Panama and the United States of America having serious reservations.

For the Government of Panama, with which Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations last week, the declaration went too far in one direction in that it could be “construed as partiality toward the [Venezuelan] Government, vis-à-vis the other social actors.” Both Panama and the USA would have also preferred endorsement of a more inclusive dialogue than the current government-sponsored process, with the USA favouring the involvement of a “trusted third party” facilitator.

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