Belize Votes In Favour of OAS Resolution on Venezuela

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Updated: June 27, 2017

At a meeting of the Organization of American States on June 19 in Cancun, Mexico, the motion to have several friendly Caribbean countries mediate in the Venezuelan crisis was shot down after the proposal did not meet the approval of the majority.  It was a shocking outcome as even the Miami Herald has asked, “How could a few tiny Caribbean islands defeat a resolution that was backed by the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and 15 other major countries in the region?”  Belize was one of those countries who voted in favour of the resolution which was presented with an aim to end what has been described as Venezuela’s autocratic regime by thwarting the President’s plan to convene a constituent assembly to draft a Cuban-styled constitution.  The resolution required twenty three votes to be passed but voting against the motion were Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Christopher and Nevis as well as Nicaragua and Bolivia; while countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda abstained, subsequently terminating the resolution.  In a June 21 article in The Miami Herald, it noted, quote, “The OAS efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela will continue, but the June 19 vote was a disgrace, for which most Caribbean countries should be blamed.”  End of quote.  Speculations are many as they relate to the reason why the resolution failed including somewhat of an allegiance to Venezuela by some countries due to the PetroCaribe initiative that provided low interest finances via oil concessions.  Belize has benefited from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative where it pays forty percent for oil imports in cash and sixty percent is converted to a twenty five year loan at two percent.  Love News sought to get a statement from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington but we were told that he left the country today.  His office is yet to issue a statement as to why it supported the U.S. initiative to intervene in Venezuela.  Meanwhile, in another turn of events, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro announced last Saturday that he would step down if a list of reforms would be effected to save Venezuela from its current crisis.  A video was posted on the web over the weekend where Almagro noted that international silence on this issue was dangerous and that it was this very silence that allowed the rise of Hitler and the genocide in Rwanda.  Twenty states voted to pass the resolution but 23 votes in favor were needed to approve the statement; eight countries abstained from voting while five rejected it. Venezuela has said it is leaving the OAS and did not vote.