FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Canada: Trump’s Terrier at the OAS

Outrageous? Shameless? The sheer audacity of what happened a day ago at the OAS defies our vocabulary. But most of all, it was a profound disappointment for those of us who hoped that the government led by Justin Trudeau would have a foreign policy different from, and more honourable than, that of the government led by Steven Harper.

The United States and Canada rounded up the rightwing neoliberal governments of the region for a meeting to condemn Venezuela. These countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. Bolivia’s representative as President of the Permanent Council of the OAS, stated that such a meeting was out of order, not following the OAS rules. Mr. Diego Pary, who wanted time to analyze the welcomed revision of Venezuela’s Supreme Court recent decisions, was totally disregarded.  The meeting was called despite his protests and that of the Vice-president held by the representative of Haiti. The representative of Honduras, in an ad hoc fashion, was made chair of that irregular meeting. This was a coup d’etat at the OAS.

Here is the astonishing part: only 17 countries so very concerned over the niceties of rules, tearing their robes over details of democratic processes in Venezuela, simply disregarded their own OAS rules, ignored their own president and vice-president, and condemned Venezuela’s democracy without taking a vote of the full 35 member states. They issued declarations to the press that there was “consensus” implying that all member states voted, which is a falsehood. They did not want to put it to a vote because they know they would not have the two-third majority needed.

The principle of no-intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country – supposedly a principle of the OAS- was just cast aside by virtue of the opinions of the Venezuelan opposition, which are taken at their face value with little or no relation to facts or evidence.

The OAS “demands” elections in Venezuela, as if these have been denied! There is no other country in the Hemisphere that has had so many elections – presidential and regional- than Venezuela. In 17 years there have been 18 elections – presidential, regional and several referendums. Former US president Jimmy Carter has declared that the electoral process of Venezuela is the best in the world, as it combines paper, electronic and fingerprint security. Most importantly, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council has for some time already scheduled, according to law, the next presidential elections for 2018 and a regional ones this very year of 2017.

So what is this demand for elections when they are already in the works?  It is simply a ploy to mislead the world into thinking that the Venezuela government does not want elections. It actually will look forward to them because, contrary to what the USA and Canada and their lackeys think, the next elections will be won by the people of Venezuela that overwhelmingly reject the manipulations of an indecently wealthy and profoundly corrupt opposition. The opposition have no following among the working class; even their demonstrations -so beloved of the international press- all take place in the wealthy sections of the cities because they would be unwelcomed anywhere else.

And what is Venezuela’s real sin? Has it invaded another country? Has it declared war against a neighboring country? Has it expelled the 5 million Columbians that have sought refuge in Venezuela? Has it not eliminated illiteracy? Has it not provided full free public education to its people? Has it not established free health care through the country? Has it not been lauded by the UN for meeting the Millennium Goals for social welfare? Has it not dramatically decreased poverty and malnutrition? Yes, but it, ridiculously, clings to the idea that it is a sovereign country and that its petroleum is not an asset for Exxon Mobil, the USA or any other foreign entity – it is the property of the Venezuelan people.

If Venezuela had no petroleum, the USA, Canada and the right wing governments of the region would not care if there were never elections in that country. Human Rights are constantly violated in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras, to name a few, the Paraguayan congress is in flames by popular protests, a de facto government is ruling Brazil after a successful coup against president’ Dilma Ruseuf, the Mexican government is becoming everyday more of a narco-state, but Canada and the US do not say a word on these issues. This is all about the oil and the need to squash any pretentions of sovereignty in Venezuela.

It is a sorry role that Canada has had at the OAS. It became Trump’s terrier. Once again Canada has shown that its foreign policy towards Latin America is the same, be it a Conservative or Liberal government: i.e. that it will follow whatever treacherous path Washington signals, even if it is ruled by one of the most incompetent and ignorant USA presidents in living memory.

At a time when Canada, the “good neighbor” could have been an honest broker, could have shown integrity, and even courage, it debased itself by once again by “following its master’s voice”.

More articles by:

María Páez Victor, Ph.D. is a Venezuelan born sociologist living in Canada. 

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail