Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray has just spiked the hornets’ nest by violating the basic old principle sustaining Mexican diplomacy known as the Estrada Doctrine that says: Don’t mess with other nation’s internal affairs.
Venezuela’s Foreign Relations Minister Delcy Rodríguez is now in charge of harassing Videgaray as Videgaray, no doubt still a greenhorn diplomat, said during a meeting last Wednesday at an Organization of American States (OAS) foreign relations ministers gathering that Venezuela was a nation “with authoritarian features and without a functional democracy.”
Minister Delcy Rodríguez said that Videgaray had no business in meddling with whatever is happening in Venezuela and she recommended that Secretary Videgaray look after Mexican affairs before criticizing Venezuela’s.
“Mexico is one of the nations with the greatest inequality in the [Latin American] region. The Mexican government does not have the moral values to talk about Venezuela because it is the world’s most dangerous place to be a journalist, where drug traffickers have penetrated the government’s institutions turning into a failed state, and where those gone missing add up to truly frightening figures.”
This clash is merely a preamble to the shape of things to come when the OAS general assembly meets in Cancun this coming June 19 to 21.
In reality, Videgaray only joined a group of 15 OAS nations that have issued a public voice of concern for what is happening in Venezuela and President Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to perpetuate in power.
This will be the main theme to deal with at the Cancun summit in which Delcy Rodríguez will formalize Venezuela’s withdrawal from the OAS, a process that started last April and that almost came to fruition last week before the OAS ministers declined to vote on the issue.
Yet Minister Rodríguez maintains that in Cancun Venezuela will insist on withdrawing from the OAS.
“We’re going to get there [Cancun] with the people of Latin America to defend Venezuela, to ratify our pulling out of the OAS precisely due to these interventionist pretentions that a group of nations, that does not have the majority in our region, is trying to impose on us.”
Secretary Videgaray is facing stiff criticism in Mexico on several grounds. One, he abandoned the Estrada Doctrine which had given Mexico a high diplomatic status among continental nations and the image of a nation that was with everyone, not against anybody.
The Estrada Doctrine was first drafted in 1930 by then Foreign Relations Secretary Genaro Estrada under President Pascual Ortiz Rubio, and it pointed to the self-determination of the people and non-intervention in the affairs of another state. This solid concept kept Mexico aloof from criticism by other nations and helped it manage to survive the U.S.-Cuba feud for over 50 years. It was — some old timers deem — a good doctrine.
Secretary Videgaray — now a regular customer at the White House in Washington — has irked the growing Mexican left because he — perhaps under the aegis of President Enrique Peña Nieto — has opted for abandoning this concept. The perception is that Videgaray is taking orders from the White House to go against the Nicolás Maduro regime.
In fact, Delcy Rodríguez says Videgaray is “a scoundrel” who is willing to do something “in exchange for something.” Namely that if Mexico now backs the Donald Trump administration to go as far as needed against Maduro’s government, the United States will treat Mexico fairly in the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.
The fear of Mexico Minister Delcy Rodríguez has indeed its influence in the American continent region, and now without the leash of the Estrada Doctrine it might insinuate some sort of OAS interference with the internal affairs of Venezuela, which is to include the electoral calendar, the liberation of political prisoners and the restitution of the National Assembly dismantled by President Maduro.
For Mexico, the problem is that greenhorn diplomat Luis Videgaray insists in following the collision course with Venezuela stating that “Mexico will not stop using all diplomatic channels, including the OAS, with the objective of having a constructive impact on the achievement of a peaceful solution to the restoration of democracy [in Venezuela]. We have here a nation that, in fact, is no longer a functional democracy. Today it is not a democracy.”
The problem Videgaray has is that this is an attitude attempting against the Estrada Doctrine that no doubt is embroiling the nation in an intervention it does not need or want.