Wednesday, June 06, 2018

It was a debacle at the OAS

No need to go much on the actual show. Arreaza performance as the regime representative was, well, ridiculous. The money line was Almagro letting him know that since the Venezuelan National Assembly had refused to exit the regime then Maduro cannot do so.  Which I am sure went down real well at Miraflores Palace. The proof is that Maduro has announced that he will announce important decision on the OAS. I am, sure the OAS is shaking.

But beyond the headline, let's look at what the OAS resolution truly means.

1) Venezuela is not excluded, the permanent committee is now allowed to proceed on that as it wishes. This may sound kind of innocuous but is in fact quite important: it allows the OAS to put constant pressure on Venezuela, kind of a Chinese torture. Since technically Venezuela is still in the OAS then it is up to this one to suspend Venezuela as it wishes. The power is at the OAS.

2) The vote showed what little support Venezuela has. Yes, the numbers are on paper not thaaaat bad on Venezuela but when you look at the details they are damning.  First, only 3 countries went in favor of Venezuela: Bolivia where Evo Morales is currently violating his own constitution to annul a re-election referendum he lost; Dominica and Saint Vincent, two shitty islands of the Caribbean whose combined population is below that of many a Venezuela municipal district, and who are suspected of being a drug transit route.

3) Among the 19 that voted against Venezuela we have newcomers. The one to note is Dominican Republic which was unfailingly on the side of Venezuela. But the failure of the "dialogue" there was more than likely enough for them to finally grasp the true nature of the regime. They know why the dialogue failed and they are not going to let the blame being pinned on them.

4) The regime should not take any consolation that 11 countries still abstain. The ones that rejoined the abstention camp are in the normal, expected transition step where you go though neutral before going anti.  In a next vote, the 19 ayes are sure to grow...  Ecuador is the best example. Under Correa Ecuador voted against any condemnation of Venezuela. Lenin Moreno started that way, but he got rid of Correa. Since his majority is still on shaky grounds, he cannot afford to alienante his left wing. So he was creative and abstained by suggesting that Venezuela holds a referendum on whether the people wants to repeat the May 20 election in different conditions. Of course, the regime cannot possibly accept that since even accepting that such referendum takes place would be seen as a confession that, yes, there was electoral fraud.  But Moreno hits twice with the same stone: one, he tempers his abstention vote and Venezuela cannot really get mad at him. But if Venezuela gets mad at him then he will be able to vote against Maduro next time since this one would have refused to consider his peaceful proposal.

6) The real importance of the resolution is not whether we are 5 votes shy from suspending Venezuela. As a matter of fact that suspension is not essential. That resolution gives legal ground from now on for any Western Hemisphere country to dictate its own sanctions against the regime. An example is Chile whose internal legal system makes it complicated to have sanctions against Venezuela. Now, with that vote, Chile can take measures more assuredly.

7) It is bad propaganda for the regime. When you get only 4 votes out of 34 in your own continent, well, your potential partners are going to think it twice before doing business with you. Even China and Russia have an excuse to ditch Maduro if they were so inclined in the future. Chavismo can spin it out in as many twisted ways it can come up with, the fact of the matter is that, only three countries, questionable countries at that, are supporting the regime.....

8) As a follow up of 7), 19 countries have voted that Maduro "election" on May 20 is not valid. So they can even break diplomatic relations with Venezuela without trouble. And the other that abstained can also do that whenever they are ready. Specifically Maduro cannot name ambassadors anymore, sign agreements, etc....

What this means for Venezuela and ways to bring down the regime are another matter to be discussed in subsequent posts.

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