Let’s face it: the 47th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Cancun earlier this week was much ado about nothing. Things are now as if the gathering of the foreign relations ministers of the 34 nations had not even happened.
The above conclusion can be taken if we gauge the powwow by results. The objective of the gathering was to vote to force Venezuela to cancel repression and return the nation to a democratic path as the majority of OAS member see serious political and economic decomposition under the Nicolás Maduro regime.
The vote was taken on Monday and the result was a failure for the majority of nations, led this time by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary and event host Luis Videgaray.
When the votes were tallied, the result was 20 in favor of intervening in the internal affairs of Venezuela in terms of aid, five against and eight abstentions. There was one nation absent in the vote. The proponents of peacefully bringing aid to Venezuela needed 23 votes for a clear majority that did not take shape. The resolution was defeated on the first vote.
The majority include Canada, the United States and Mexico, who spearheaded the proposition, and were backed by 17 more nations. The opposition was clearly the five socialist nations of the American continent: Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua.
But the most interesting part of the vote is the eight abstaining nations. They are mostly Caribbean nation islands who benefit directly from handouts of Venezuelan oil. By not being either for or against, they remain in good standing both with the 20 nations and Venezuela itself.
But even with a five vote minority Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodríguez made it look as if her 35-member entourage did its best to make the failure to garner the 23 needed votes look as a Venezuelan victory over the bad guys (the 20 nations who called for intervening with aid and medicine to help the undeniable crisis Venezuela has been confronting for 81 consecutive days).
Reality is that the overwhelming majority of American nations did not see their vote as a defeat. It was only too bad that OAS president Luis Almagro didn’t make a stronger push to bring in the much needed three votes. That was perhaps not a failure, but a shortcoming that made the General Assembly come crushing down until the next General Assembly in April 2018 when a similar proposal will be voted on.
That would pretty much be the outlook of the result of the General Assembly for the rest of the world.
Yet in Mexico, a nation organizing for the first time in history an OAS General Assembly, the political outcome was not favorable.
The first casualty of this verbal international fray is Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray himself who is now seen as a “Trump man” and a greenhorn diplomat for whom the organizing of the assembly turned out to be a very tall order.
First of all, even if quiet and subdued in tone, Videgaray lacked the diplomatic skills to stop cold the vociferous and undiplomatic verbal assault lashed against the Mexican government by Venezuela chancellor Delcy Rodriguez, who made him look like a loser and even bashed him for being what he indeed is, a greenhorn diplomat whose only virtue for the Peña Nieto administration is to have struck a good liaison with President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Another weapon Delcy Rodríguez used against Luis Videgaray was the recent Mexican elections which, all opponents claim, were rigged by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to favor its candidates.
Mexico — hence Videgaray — is not in a position to speak about clean democracy, Rodríguez accused. Her accusation — unfortunately — went unanswered by the National Electoral Institute, which is the entity that organizes elections, not the president, nor the Foreign Relations Secretary and certainly not PRI. The problem is that the “undemocratic” accusation seems to have hit home with the Peña Nieto administration, and definitely Videgaray was unable to utter an answer in such an important continental forum to defend democracy in Mexico.
In the end, Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Delcy Rodríguez is claiming victory at the OAS powwow but her claims may be deceiving to Venezuelans who see their nation now more isolated than ever and for sure, the Mexican government will turn its back on the Nicolás Maduro regime for the rest of its days in power, which end on Nov. 30, 2018.
That Mexico will be silent on Venezuela until then is a fact that began Wednesday, when all the leading dailies — except left-winger La Jornada — did not even mention the outcome of the OAS General Assembly.
The Maduro regime certainly will get the Mexican “ice law” (cold shoulder) in which the Peña Nieto administration will follow the three monkeys’ philosophy on Venezuela: I don’t see you, and I don’t hear you I don’t talk about or to you.
And if there’s a complaint from the Venezuelan government about this, Nicolás Maduro can thank Delcy Rodríguez’s undiplomatic big mouth for it.