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(PRESS RELEASE) – Under the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), when the General Secretary of the OAS speaks he speaks for and on behalf of the Organization and its Member States, including the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Grenada, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.
And last Friday (the 13th of September 2018) — at a Press Conference held in Cucuta, Colombia — OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro spoke as follows :-
“With respect to a MILITARY INTERVENTION to OVERTHROW Nicolas Maduro’s regime, I don’t think any option should be ruled out ……….. Diplomatic action should be the first priority but we shouldn’t rule out any action.”
Thus, speaking for ALL 34 Member States of the OAS, Luis Almagro has declared that the constitutionally legitimate, democratically elected Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (a Member State of the OAS) is to be OVERTHROWN either by “diplomatic action” or by “military intervention”.
Needless-to-say, Almagro’s enunciation constitutes a gross VIOLATION of virtually all of the fundamental principles contained in the Charter of the OAS, namely — Chapter 1 (Nature and Purposes), Chapter 2 (Principles), Chapter 4 (Fundamental Rights and Duties of States), Chapter 5 (Pacific Settlement of Disputes), and Chapter 7 (Integral Development) — all of which commit the OAS and its Member States to the principles of respect for the territorial integrity of states, respect for national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the right of states to self-determination, and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
It has now therefore become absolutely clear that Luis Almagro CANNOT be permitted to continue to hold the post of representative and spokesman of the OAS !
Indeed, every single self-respecting Member State of the OAS is now under a duty to denounce and repudiate the unlawful and offensive statement that the General Secretary of the OAS made in their names, and to go on to take action to REMOVE Luis Almagro from the post of General Secretary of the OAS !
Article 116 of the OAS Charter establishes that the General Assembly of the OAS may — by a two thirds vote of the Member States — remove the General Secretary “whenever the proper functioning of the Organization so demands”.
The duty of every single OAS Member State to take action in respect of this matter is therefore absolutely clear, and those of us who still believe that we are citizens of sovereign, principled, serious, and self respecting nations will be watching very closely to see how our Caribbean governments respond.