May 30, 2017
The following is a response I wrote to the questions “Is the OAS Playing a Constructive Role on Venezuela? What Should It Be Doing Differently?” My full response, along with others by David Smilde, Miguel Tinker Salas, Jennifer McCoy, and Steve Ellner, is posted at the new Venezuela Dialogue blog.
The OAS has no positive role to play in resolving the political crisis in Venezuela, any more than would Senator Marco Rubio or other Florida politicians who seek regime change there. At this point, it should be clear to any informed observer that the organization is currently an instrument of those who simply want to use the current crisis to topple the Venezuelan government.
I say this without exaggeration or hyperbole. People who want to avoid escalating violence or civil war in Venezuela should not pretend otherwise, no matter how much they hate the current government or want to see the opposition in power. They should not try to support a process that is so blatantly illegitimate, ill-intentioned, and dangerous.
In Washington bubble circles, the large media outlets and US government are the ultimate arbiters of political legitimacy. Since these actors and their allies are all willing to pretend that the OAS is currently neutral, some well-intentioned people may want to also pretend that this is the case. They may believe that such intervention as the upcoming May 31 OAS meeting of foreign ministers, despite being controlled by partisan actors, would increase pressure on the Venezuelan government to negotiate.
Read more at Venezuela Dialogue.