The political and human rights crises in Venezuela and Nicaragua were predictable. It may have been preventable too, if media, multilateral institutions and governments had reacted to the obvious and documented warning signs.
The March 28 OAS Permanent Council discussion on Venezuela was a not-so-subtle rebuke to the failed efforts at dialogue. Instead of acknowledging shifting international opinion, though, the next day Venezuela Supreme Court gave the OAS its sharpest example yet of an “interruption in the constitutional process.” Now what?
Secretary General Luis Almagro has invoked the Democratic Charter of the OAS, calling for a meeting of the body’s Permanent Council to discuss the situation in Venezuela. How the hemispheric body responds will be a test of its role and future in a divided hemisphere.