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The OAS and the crisis in Venezuela: what gets silenced by the media

A narrative has been created of a dictatorship and a failed State, whilst every step has been taken to conceal the true reasons lying behind the current situation in Venezuela, to hide the culpability of the United States and of right-wing governments in the region who look for ways to justify their intervention.

 

Carmen Esquivel

 

Approximately 1.6 million people have left Venezuela in the last three years and 90% of them are now living in other South American nations, according to the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Among the many causes of this wave of emigration, a major factor, which the media monopolies fail to mention, is the permanent sabotage of the national economy by the United States.

The recent escalation of aggressions against the South American country began in March 2015 when then President of the United States, Barack Obama, declared Venezuela a “threat to national security” and decided to apply sanctions against various public servants.

The blockade against the economy continued over following years and intensified once Nicolás Maduro was re-elected in the elections last May with a majority of 68%, a result refuted by Washington.

After these elections, Trump signed an executive decree to harden the economic embargo and prohibit transactions with public bodies, including the State-owned Venezuelan Oil Company (Pdvsa).

This economic war, supported by the opposition, aims to asphyxiate the country and prevents the government from buying food, medicine and other essential items.

A recent case is the blockade of 7 million dollars destined for the purchase of dialysis treatment for patients with kidney problems.

In the media campaign on the theme of emigration, the media also avoid mentioning that Venezuela has historically welcomed a great number of refugees.

More than 6.5 million Colombians, Peruvians and Ecuadorians live on Venezuelan soil and benefit from welfare programmes put in place by the Government. A very different fate greets Venezuelans living in other countries, many become the victims of false promises about a better quality of life.

Thus, in the last few days, some three thousand Venezuelans have taken up the Return to the Homeland Plan (Plan Vuelta a la Patria), an airlift service launched by the authorities to facilitate vulnerable citizens’ return.

The president Nicolás Maduro decried that in countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Peru a crusade of hate, persecution, contempt and xenophobia is being waged against his people.

This global campaign, spearheaded by the United States, seeks to create a scandal that can justify an intervention in the country, Maduro warned.

Plans of aggression encouraged by the OEA’s general secretary, Luis Almagro, provoked condemnation from progressive governments and organisations in the region.

“An attack against Venezuela is an attack against Latin America,” warned the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, in a post on Twitter.

The Bolivian Alliance for the Nations of Our America (ALBA) considers Almagro’s declarations clear evidence of plans to destabilise progressive governments.

For the president of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (Coppal), the Domincan Manolo Pichardo, Almagro’s words reaffirm the OAS’ role as an instrument in the service of the United States.

Pichardo recalled the complicit silence and the attitude assumed by the Organisation of American States (OAS, or OEA) when faced with the coup d’état in Honduras (2009) and the coup against the legitimate government of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil (2016).

“The OEA legitimised the United States’s military intervention in the Dominican Republic in April 1965 to prevent the return to power of Juan Bosch’s democratically elected party, and there are many more examples attesting to the fact that the OEA continues to be a tool in justifying aggressions against Latin America and the Caribbean,” claimed Pichardo.

Indeed, the majority of countries in the so called Lima Group, with the exception of Colombia, Canada and Guyana, stated their rejection of any course of action or declaration implying an intervention in Venezuela.

In an article, The New York Times newspaper revealed secret contacts maintained in 2017 and 2018 between public servants in Donald Trump’s government and Venezuelan ex-servicemen opposed to the revolutionary process, with the aim of provoking the overthrow of President Maduro.

If one adds to this information the reports of a plan formed by the Southern Command (United States armed forces operating in Latin America and the Caribbean) to achieve this same end, the incidents and provocations on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, and Almagro’s most recent declarations, it is easy to infer that a coup is being prepared against Venezuela.

What is certain is that using the pretext of supplying humanitarian aid for migrants to justify a military intervention is a well-worn strategy that has already been used in various countries, which the United States is now trying to impose on Venezuela, in conspiracy with the OEA.

For months the government in Caracas has been denouncing these plans, but now the general secretary of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has taken it upon himself to confirm them, during a recent visit to a zone on the Colombian border with Venezuela.

Almagro said that regarding military intervention to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro “We must not discount any option.” Meanwhile, the man in charge in the White House, Donald Trump, has already said that “We have many options for Venezuela, including a military option if it becomes necessary.” (PL)

(Translated by Elizabeth Dann – elizabethdann@blueyonder.co.uk) Photos: Pixabay

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