CANCUN – A special meeting summoned by the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the more than two-month-old turmoil in Venezuela collapsed without a resolution yesterday.
The discussion in Cancun, Mexico ended in deadlock after the hemispheric body failed to get the two-thirds majority of the 34 member states to support a hemispheric proposal denouncing the violence which has left at least 70 people dead, and more than 1300 injured.
It had also urged the Nicolas Maduro government to “reconsider” the formation of a constituent assembly to rewrite the Constitution.
Twenty states voted to pass a draft, but 23 votes were needed to approve the statement. Eight countries abstained from voting while five rejected the draft.
“Some states were not prepared to sign a statement that there are political problems in Venezuela,” Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting.
Venezuela, which has already served notice of its intention to pull out of the OAS, attended the talks, but only for short while.
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez walked out of the talks, and claimed that more OAS members who she didn’t name were considering following Venezuela’s lead.
“Not only do we not recognize this meeting, we do not recognize any resolution coming out of it,” Rodriguez said.
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Morales, the acting chair of the meeting, said ministers would resume discussions at a later, unspecified date.
“I do not want our hemisphere to continue breaking apart anymore,” Morales said. “We need to look for solutions, to continue the dialogue and the only way to continue this dialogue is to keep this session open without a determinate date.”
The United States, Mexico, Canada and several South American nations issued a statement expressing their “disappointment” at the vote, which for the second time in a month fell for a lack of support.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at their intersessional meeting in Barbados called for non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela.
In a strong statement which also condemned the violence and deplored the resulting loss of life and property, the grouping however stressed “the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.”