The Canadian, Latin American & Caribbean Policy Centre (CAL&C) expresses its concern on the attempt made by several countries of the Organization of American States, including Canada, to violate the institutional order of this organization by ignoring the Presidency of the Permanent Council, currently exercised by Bolivia, and its Vice-Presidency, exercised by Haiti, in order to force the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Venezuela.

This Monday, April 3th, these countries illegally met to vote on a resolution that forces the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Venezuela. The President of the Permanent Council had agreed to postpone the meeting after the Venezuelan democratic institutions agreed to exhort the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to review its sentence on the parliament competencies, which was overthrown hours later. Nevertheless, Canada, Unites States and the neoliberal governments of the hemisphere, forced the Ambassador of Honduras to assume the chairmanship of the council, even though the President and Vice-president of the Council were few offices away having an informal meeting to catch up with the new positive events that occurred last Friday in Venezuela. These countries not only violated the institutional order of the OAS, but passed a document by “consensus” against Venezuela when at least four countries in the meeting expressed their rejection to the document, leaving Canada, United States and the neoliberal countries of the hemisphere with only 17 votes, a number below the two-third required to apply the Inter-American Democratic Charter on Venezuela.

All these events took place under an enormous pressure orchestrated by United States against the small countries of the Caribbean that have maintained a position in favour of dialogue and understating in Venezuela. USA Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio publically threaten Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Haiti that voting against United States would mean a drastically cut in development aid to these countries. The Permanent Representative from Venezuela has also denounced that diplomats from United States and Canada have pressed Caribbean countries to change their vote and support drastic measures against Venezuela.

CAL&C, as an organization that promotes knowledge and mutual understanding between the peoples and governments of Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, based on mutual respect, cooperation and solidarity,

– We urge the Government of Canada to abandon the US imperialist policy in the OAS, which, together with the neoliberal governments of the region, is imploding the organization of the OAS by violating its own institutional order and making it a grotesque political bully against Venezuela and the progressive countries of the region.

– We urge the Government of Canada to denounce the public and notorious threats of the Republican Party and the Trump administration have made to the small Caribbean and Central-American countries, namely Haiti, Dominican Republic and El Salvador.

– We urge the Government of Canada to explain the reasons why it ignore Bolivia and Haiti as President and Vice-president of the Permanent Council of the OAS and became complicit in a fraud that violating OAS rules, illegally and unjustly defamed Venezuelan democracy.

Canada has so much to gain by assuming a constructive approach in its relations with the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States, based on dialogue and mutual respect, than continue following on the footsteps of an extremist USA administration that has always considered the southern hemisphere as its own backyard. Now is the opportunity for Canada to show integrity, to distant itself from the interventionist policies of the past and lead the way to a peaceful, constructive and fruitful relation with Latin America and the Caribbean.

April 4th, 2017