Hands Off Venezuela!

Illegal Manouevres and Impotent Demands to
Support Regime Change Rebuffed

President Nicolás Maduro addresses a mass rally, April 6, 2019, congratulating the Venezuelan people on their defence of their motherland.

With the continuing failure of the U.S. to bring its coup d'état against the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to a successful conclusion in spite of the dirty multi-faceted war it has been waging for that purpose, it is going to new extremes to try and legitimate its illegitimate activities and shore up support internationally for the hapless self-proclaimed "president" Juan Guaidó.

On April 9 at an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), requested the day before by seven Lima Group members including Canada, a resolution was approved by a simple majority of 18 votes[1] that called on the OAS to accept an individual designated by the disempowered National Assembly as Venezuela's permanent representative to the OAS, "pending new elections and the appointment of a democratically elected government." The resolution further instructed the OAS Secretary General to transmit the text that had been approved to the Secretary General of the United Nations, in keeping with the concerted effort of the U.S. to get the Security Council to act against Venezuela.

It was pointed out emphatically by the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and others who voted against the resolution, and even by some who abstained, that the Permanent Council had no authority under the OAS Charter to determine who should represent any of its member states, that this was a decision belonging to the member state itself.

Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the OAS pointed out that "in international law and practice, who represents a state is based on the test of "who is in charge of the country, who administers its affairs, [and] who controls its borders." Given that a fictitious parallel "government" headed by a self-declared "president" without any real power obviously does not fulfil these requirements, he said that essential test of international law had been ignored, and requested that his remarks be included as a footnote to the resolution.

The response of Venezuela's representative Asbina Marín Sevilla and of certain others who objected to the resolution also appeared as footnotes to the resolution that appeared on the OAS website. In her remarks Marín Sevilla stated:

"The only measure provided for in the rules of the OAS is the suspension of a member state, decided on at a special General Assembly by a two-thirds vote of the foreign ministers. There is no other way. The power to withdraw recognition does not exist, much less the power to change governments. Any improvisation or manipulation that allows other actions to be taken by a lower body and with a voting threshold below two-thirds is illegal.... We are thus facing two coups d'état: one committed against all the principles of the OAS, and another committed from within the OAS against a state that is facing intervention and upon which a representative is being imposed from abroad."

The OAS "has been turned into an empty shell, powerless to defend its own principles," said Marín Sevilla, proving that her government's decision to withdraw from it was correct. Venezuela is due to leave the OAS on April 27, two years after giving notice of its intention to do so.

Ambassador Jorge Lomónaco of Mexico who voted against the resolution called its adoption "a pyrrhic victory for a group of countries, without real effect." Saying the decision had been taken "irresponsibly and without legal grounds," he expressed concern about its implications. Similar concerns were expressed by representatives of countries that abstained on the vote as well, including Nicaragua and Guyana.

Caracas, Venezuela, April 6, 2019.

At the UN Security Council

On April 10 the U.S. moved its regime change sideshow to the UN Security Council where it demanded that an emergency session be convoked allegedly to consider the "humanitarian problems" in Venezuela -- the third such meeting it has forced in less than a year.

The meeting began with reports by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration for Venezuelans, Eduardo Stein,[2] and Dr. Kathleen Page, a professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine who reported on a study carried out by her university in conjunction with the U.S. government-financed agency Human Rights Watch. All of them painted a dire picture about the "humanitarian situation" in Venezuela without mentioning a single word about the role of the economic war the U.S. has been waging aimed precisely at creating a crisis in the country.

Pence then took the floor in the style of a self-appointed prosecutor, calling Venezuela a failed state and its government "illegitimate," making sure to include that Venezuela represented "a threat to the peace and security of the region," emphasizing that it was time for the UN to "act" -- a dishonest attempt to make the case for an eventual military intervention like the U.S. has been threatening, and which Pence made sure to say was still "on the table." He announced that the United States was drafting a resolution calling for the UN credentials of the Bolivarian government to be revoked and assigned instead to the coup forces it sponsors, and called on all states to support it, presumably at a future meeting of the General Assembly even though not even a third of its members have recognized its puppet Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's president.

After issuing his uncouth threats and demands at the Security Council, Pence made a show of walking out of the meeting, not bothering even to hear what Venezuela or other members of the Security Council had to say in response. Speaking to reporters outside he blustered impotently, "This is our neighborhood and the president has made it clear that whether it be Russia, or whether it be other nations, that they need to step aside. They need to cease efforts to stand in the way of economic and diplomatic pressure, and they need to cease supporting the Maduro regime."

At a press conference he held after the meeting, Venezuela's Permanent Ambassador to the UN Samuel Moncada said it is no secret that the U.S. has been running a high pressure campaign for some time to try and get more of the 193 UN members to buy into its regime change agenda by recognizing its puppet Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela. While that might work in the OAS, whose Secretary General openly calls for war against Venezuela, he said, it's not the same at the UN which is not just "a corral of the U.S. and its friends." Moncada said Venezuela had also been engaged in a vigorous campaign with members of the Non-Aligned Movement for the last six months to counter U.S. attempts to unseat its delegation at the UN and that this would continue.


1. The resolution was approved by Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and the United States. Nine countries voted against it -- Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Grenada, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, and six abstained -- Barbados, El Salvador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize was absent.

2. Eduardo Stein is a former vice president (2004-2008) and foreign minister (1996-2000) of Guatemala. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue. Of note is that Stein was a member of the International Commission on State Sovereignty and Intervention (ICISS) established by Canada in 2000 after NATO’s precedent-setting bombing of Yugoslavia. The Commission came up with "the responsibility to protect" (R2P) to justify foreign intervention against sovereign states -- a violation of the UN Charter. In its report to then-Secretary General Kofi Annan the Commission recommended the UN adopt R2P as official policy. Stein is said to remain an  advocate of that imperialist doctrine which the likes of Luis Almagro and members of the US-financed opposition in Venezuela have called for utilizing today against Venezuela.

(With files from Misión Verdad, Grayzone, Whitehouse.gov)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 13 - April 13, 2019

Article Link:
Illegal Manouevres and Impotent Demands to Support Regime Change Rebuffed


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