Irrelevant OAS stresses the bejesus out of Venezuela (and Cuba)
Chavez has spent 15 years, under the direction of Cuba who was excluded from the OAS by Venezuela’s initiative, in finding ways to render the Organization of American States irrelevant. For this he supported the election of Insulza as its general secretary, a rare case of a president whose main task is to lower the institution it presides. To make sure there was no surprises for when the day to sustain his dictatorship come, Chavez started targeted programs to secure soft votes, that is, though generous money offerings to weak countries. Hence the ALBA and the archipelago of curious poverty that represent most of the anglo Caribbean. Add to this countries like Argentina or Brazil who see in the OAS an additional tool to edge out the US influence and grab it for themselves. Thus you get a solid majority which today again acted, this time against Maria Corina Machado. But it is a Pyrrhic victory, one that does not solve whatsoever Venezuela’s image problem and actually worsens the image of the now severely discredited “leadership” of chavismo.
Although there is a gigantic amount of hand-wringing in Venezuela today as the opposition expected some miracle from the OAS, I see it as a rather positive moment. See, you need to understand first that the OAS, like the UN, has a glacial system of reaction. You need a significant amount of blood and tears to start seeing some movement. These organizations are a club to prevent the “executive” power of countries to get at each other throats on any silly arguments. Once this is assured, other elements of countries, such as human rights, free parliaments, independent judicial are, well, negligible. Another way of stating this is that the OAS follows, does not lead, and as a follower the best it can do is be in the way of the aggressor, with the hope that this will be enough to cause its dismissal at some point. I meant be in the way, not stand in the way which is somehow more proactive.
Cuba has always smarted to be excluded from the OAS, one reason being that other dictatorships remained inside without much trouble. Thus the hatred by Fidel, the more so that now that Cuba is the lone dictatorship of the hemisphere. It is also becoming more of a pariah than ever even if presidents love to run kiss Fidel’s ass, if anything to silence a bit their crazy loony left (Venezuela is a somewhat special case of dictatorship in the works). And thus, through Chavez pile of cash he stole from the Venezuelan people, appeared all sorts of initiatives such as the ALBA, Petrocaribe, CELAC, etc, each more useless than the other except for one thing: it created a blackmailing system that slowly but surely ensured that the only hemispheric organization that could have any influence if it ever wanted to would be even more toothless than it was already.
The glory peak was the expulsion of Honduras on the pretense of a coup when it was absolutely clear that the judicial and legislative powers of the country had not been voided, and acted in fact in legitimate defense against the intention of coup that Zelaya had. Even the US fell into that trap, since the still novice Obama administration had not realized what meant 7 years of hemispheric neglect by Bush administration.
Once Honduras was more or less settled, we had Paraguay and there the OAS was not as easily manipulated. In fact, it was Mercosur and UNASUR that eventually did the deed, more reliable in that case than the OAS where after all countries like Canada dare to speak legalese whichever the circumstances are.
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