In a landmark meeting yesterday, the Organization of American States were summoned to an extraordinary meeting for the presentation of a report on the erosion of democracy in Bolivarian Venezuela, prepared by the secretary general of the organization, Luis Almagro. The meeting started with the point of order of approving the agenda, to which Bolivarian Venezuela, represented by its foreign minister Ms Delcy Rodriguez requested the word. She expressed that her country was opposed to the meeting being held. After the US made a point of order saying that Bolivarian Venezuela had gone into the subject matter when they were at a point in the agenda where only points of order were allowed according to the rules of OAS, and a couple of more violations to thus rule by Nicaragua and Bolivia, the vote was taken.
There was confusion because the chair had first understood that Bolivarian Venezuela requested a vote not to hold the meeting, but later their representative stated that she desired the vote to be on the approval of the agenda. Even though the chair explained this repeatedly the translation seems to have worked poorly, because Antigua and Barbuda had to ask again before voting, and Haiti later explained that they had voted on the original question and really intended to approve the agenda. In this table I present the vote and show the corrected vote of Haiti:
|Do you approve the agenda?|
|Argentina||Antigua and Barbuda||Saint Lucia|
|Bahamas||Bolivia||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Costa Rica||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Guatemala||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
That makes 21 in favor and 11 opposed, with 2 abstentions, so the agenda was approved and the meeting started. The only point of order was that Luis Almagro, secretary general, presented his report. That was followed by comments by those who so wished. All countries availed themselves of that opportunity except those in italics in the above table. The complete video of the entire meeting (except 2 minutes before the formal start, due to a transmission error) with the original language (no interpreter voices) is available on the Operación Libertad Venezuela YouTube channel.
For Spanish speakers I recommend ‘The pearls of Delcy Rodriguez,’ “Las perlas de Delcy Rodriguez,” since nobody contributed more to prove the case that Bolivarian Venezuela is an authoritarian regime than the foreign minister herself. I don’t have the time to translate it but I will leave it open for user-contributed translations on YouTube.
The fact that the report was presented was a huge step forward, because the regime’s lies were exposed publicly. But this is not to say that the democratic charter was activated. This was just the secretary general informing the countries—his employers, effectively—that “here is something I think you need to look at”. Now they need to consider the facts and then it is up to the country holding the presidency of OAS to decide if and when to call a new meeting. At present Argentina holds the presidency.