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OAS Backs Venezuela, Approves Review of Almagro Printer friendly page Print This
By Staff Writers, teleSUR
Thursday, Jun 16, 2016

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez speaks at the OAS session in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 15, 2016. | Photo: OAS

The Organization of American States wrapped up a three-day session focused on discussing the situation in Venezuela on Wednesday with a decision in favor of taking further action to assess whether OAS chief Luis Almagro’s move to invoke the Democratic Charter against the South American nation was legitimate.
The OAS will meet next week to continue discussing the situation in Venezuela, as member states overwhelmingly support dialogue, not intervention.

The meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, came after tensions flared between the Washington-based OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Venezuela over a decision to invoke the mechanism that could have resulted in the country being suspended from the regional bloc over an alleged political crisis.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez requested an evaluation of Almagro’s action on Wednesday, a proposal that was approved by the assembly for further discussion in an OAS Permanent Council meeting in Washington next Tuesday.

Rodriguez slammed Almagro for questioning Venezuelan democracy and accused him of being “mandated by Washington” to support a coup in the South American country, where political tensions have flared in recent weeks amid opposition calls to speed up the process toward a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro. She called the OAS head’s conduct “illegal and fraudulent.”

After the session, Almagro said he was not concerned by the decision to evaluate his actions. “We have full peace of mind and certainty about the path chosen,” he said in a press conference.

Last month, Almagro, a former Uruguayan foreign minister, stepped out of diplomatic protocol and penned a hostile letter to Maduro accusing him of sliding toward being a “petty dictator” after the Venezuelan president made heated statements accusing Almagro of becoming a traitor giving a helping hand to the CIA and U.S. interests.

The Permanent Council voted against suspending Venezuela from the OAS, opting instead to take a path of dialogue, not intervention.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez held a rare meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who argued that it is “more constructive to engage in dialogue than isolate.”

Overwhelmingly, the OAS member states support dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition and have rejected a move toward sanctions against the county.

The OAS Permanent Council is set to meet next Tuesday in Washington at Venezuela’s request. The meeting will be followed next Thursday by a special session requested by Almagro to further address the situation in Venezuela.

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