Published On: Fri, Jun 16th, 2017

OAS General Assembly turns its attention to troubled Venezuela

OAS-general-assemblyWASHINGTON - After much controversy, the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela will get the full attention of the 34 member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) when they meet for the 47th General Assembly next week.

The three-day session opens in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, under the theme, “Strengthening dialogue and concerted action for prosperity”.

According to Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, the officials will be discussing a resolution that addresses issues related to the Constitution in Venezuela.

The resolution, which was drafted by the grouping’s foreign Ministers in Washington DC on May 31, also makes reference to the rule of law, the political space provided to people who are non-governmental (NGOs) and members of civil society.

It further highlights “the rights of citizens and challenges they face; humanitarian issues; the availability of resources including food stuff; how best humanitarian aid might be secured and the implication of the Constituent Assembly.”

The Constituent Assembly was established by President Nicolas Maduro to change the constitution.

For more than two months now, Venezuela has been the scene of anti-government protests, with clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters leaving more than 70 people dead and 1,300 wounded.

The unrest broke out after the Supreme Court stripped the opposition-controlled parliament of its powers. The decision was later revoked, but protesters continued to take to the streets across the country against the Maduro administration.

Back in April, several OAS members condemned the hemispheric body after Secretary General Luis Almagro called a special meeting to discuss Venezuela. The meeting was however aborted, after several members protested.

The move angered Venezuela and President Maduro announced that this Government would pull out the hemispheric body.

Greenidge said there remains much indecision among the grouping about next week’s resolution.

“I can’t tell you the likelihood of the passage. There is more than one resolution and in considering the resolution, one has to acknowledge that there are some countries themselves opposed to the very idea that Venezuela should be discussed,” he said.

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