The [Organization of American States] has won a more relevant space in the hemispheric community. The Inter-American Democratic Charter reflects several shared democratic values; establishes a clear symbiosis between democracy and human rights. […]

Venezuela requests responsibly that the Inter-American Democratic Charter be implemented immediately. […]

Foreign Minister Luis Alfonso Dávila during the plenary session of the OAS in 2001 where the Inter-American Democratic Charter – the same document now being derided by current president Nicolás Maduro – was approved by acclamation.

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Postscript (May 5, 2017): This was the last post before taking almost a year off for two different academic jobs, the second of which has just wound down. In all these months, Venezuela went from just plain dysfunctional to descending into a situation akin to Syria, North Korea, or South Sudan (that is, if we are to believe Nikki Haley, the learning-while-doing US Ambassador to the UN)

The OAS has had Venezuela on its crosshairs for quite a while, but it has redoubled the criticism since Maduro all but invalidated the National Assembly, now under opposition majority, as a branch of government (he is reportedly set to deliver what some say is the knockout blow). Of course, one thing is clamoring to impose the Charter onto countries like Mexico for doing nothing (and remaining in cahoots with the drug cartels) while journalists are being gunned down, but another is to be put under that same standard for behaving like a sore loser and kick the table after losing an election. The difference is that now, because immunity from international criticism while leveling it against others has always been an explicitly stated chavista foreign policy objective, Venezuela wants to leave the OAS.

And there are still people in the US who take Venezuela’s side. (No, there is no logic to withdrawing, as this HuffPost entry argues, other than Maduro not owining up to the consequences of his decisions and, instead, blaming something or someone else for the hot mess he is in [the similarities with the attitude of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are nothing short of remarkable]. Besides, if that logic was indeed predicated on the terms of being treated “unfairly” by some world body for actions justified by the notion of inviolable state sovereignty, Israel would have grown sick and tired of so many “hostile” UN Security Council resolutions on the Palestinan issue and left a long time ago.)

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