WASHINGTON, USA – The Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the Organization of American States (OAS), on Wednesday, forced a vote at the Permanent Council of the Organization concerning the representation of Venezuela by the spokesperson for Juan Guaidó who is recognised by only 50 countries globally as the ‘Interim President’ of Venezuela.
Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, said that Juan Guaidó’s agent was ‘foisted on the OAS in 2019 by a bare majority of 18 countries even though he is a spokesperson for only one political party in Venezuela’.
In a formal note to the chair of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Sanders said, ‘Allowing the views and positions of only one political party to be expressed in any forum of the OAS is contrary to natural justice and democratic principles since it denies a similar opportunity to other political parties in opposition and government in Venezuela’.
The ambassador said that in calling for a vote, ‘Antigua and Barbuda was standing up for democratic principles and the Charter of the OAS which some appear to have sacrificed on the altar of narrow political objectives that questions the credibility of the OAS’.
‘When the vote was taken, only 17 legitimate country representatives, along with Guaidó’s agent. voted in favour of him making a presentation to the Council. This means there was not even a basic majority of 18 countries anymore’, ambassador Sanders said.
CARICOM countries were divided on the vote. The Bahamas, Haiti, and Jamaica voted with Guaido’s agent while Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines voted against. Seven CARICOM countries abstained and two were absent. Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua also did not vote with Guaido’s agent.
Venezuela formally withdrew from the OAS in 2019, having given two years notice in keeping with the rules of the Charter of the Organization. Since then, the OAS has been divided over the seating of Juan Guaido’s representative who has no authority to speak for act on behalf of the government or other political parties in Venezuela.