Stepping Out of the OAS

By: Daniel Nardini

                                       In a promise made by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, current Venezuelan President Miguel Maduro has withdrawn Venezuela from the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. This is significant because it means that Venezuela will not even recognize any of the decisions made by the court, and certainly will not implement any decisions the court hands down in regards to Venezuela. While the court has no legal authority to enforce human rights, it definitely has moral authority—any ruling it makes will have a profound impact whatever any government in the Americas does.
                                       By withdrawing from the court, Maduro has made it clear that Venezuela will not be under the control of “a yankee puppet court.” Since the court makes non-binding legal decisions, it makes no major sense for Venezuela to withdraw. However, it makes perfect sense if Venezuela intends to ultimately withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS). This may be simply the first step. For years, the socialist Venezuelan government, then under Hugo Chavez, and now under Miguel Maduro, had threatened to leave the OAS because it is seen by these two men as being nothing more than a tool for the United States and “yankee imperialism.”
                                     The OAS was originally created in 1948 for the protection of all countries in the Americas. There is no doubt that the OAS was also created to fight against Communism, but the OAS is far from being the instrument of the United States. There are numerous cases when OAS members voted against the United States. Why is Venezuela so keen on getting out of the OAS? Because the current socialist government ruling Venezuela could care less about human rights and independent verification of human rights abuses in Venezuela.
                                     Just as equally important is that the Venezuelan socialist government wants to make its Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) a more credible organization and as a bulwark for socialism and against the United States. As a matter of fact, countries like Canada and the United States are excluded from joining ALBA because they are seen as “imperialist.” In other words, Venezuela wants to make ALBA, which incidentally is headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela, as an alternate organization against OAS or anything it perceives is controlled by the United States. In other words, the Venezuelan socialist government wants to champion the goals and aspirations of those governments that follow Venezuela and those that want to follow the course of socialism. There is no question that Venezuela wants to make itself a political rival of the United States for the heart and soul of the Americas.

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