The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today agreed “to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term as of the 10th of January of 2019.” The resolution also calls for new Presidential elections with all necessary guarantees of a free, fair, transparent, and legitimate process to be held at an early date attended by international observers.
The resolution was approved with 19 votes in favor, 6 against, 8 abstentions and one country absent. It’s worth nothing that Mexico abstained for the first time in supporting a resolution concerning Venezuela. Mexico, a Grupo de Lima founding member and consistent champion of restoring democracy in Venezuela, has now scaled back its support to safeguard human rights and restore democracy in Venezuela. Under new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the country has decided to invoke a non-interventionist policy, in alignment with AMLO’s stance of “not getting involved in other countries’ affairs.”
Fernando Simas Magalhães, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Brazil to the OAS, took a direct stance against those member countries who abstained or voted against the resolution. “This union cannot remain submissive before a country that today suffers the consequences of a brutal dictatorship. Those that [remain silent] before the regime of Nicolás Maduro or that abstain are an obstruction to the work of the organization,” said Magalhães at the end of the meeting.
Paula María Bertol, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Argentina to the OAS, re-affirmed Argentina’s commitment to receiving Venezuelan refugees with open arms. “This is the largest movement of refugees in Latin America and we will receive them as they received us at some point. We are not indifferent to the suffering of a brother nation and we will redouble our efforts in this dramatic situation” said Bertol.
This was the first meeting chaired by Carlos Alberto Calles, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the OAS and who on January 8th assumed the Chair of the Permanent Council.