OAS to deal with Venezuela crisis at General Assembly in Cancun

    19 de junio de 2017

    Cancun, Mexico, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The Organization of American States (OAS) opens its 47th General Assembly this Monday in Cancun, Mexico, with a meeting of foreign ministers on the crisis in Venezuela, which the Chavista government has promised to attend.

    The assembly, the most important annual OAS meeting, will be inaugurated Monday afternoon by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, but the most important element will be the meeting on Venezuela, scheduled for 2:00 pm.

    At their gathering, foreign ministers of the region will attempt to approve a statement of proposals for resolving Venezuela's political and social crisis, though it will be hard to get the 23 votes needed to pass it - two-thirds of the 34 countries present and not including Cuba.

    The 14 countries promoting the meeting - led by Mexico, the US, Canada and Peru - hope that the 14 countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) come up with a declaration that will bring their positions closer, diplomatic sources told EFE.

    Monday's foreign ministers' meeting will resume the discussion of last May 31 in Washington, which was suspended after five hours when it became evident that no agreement was possible between the declarations presented, and which continue to be the only ones on the table.

    The text proposed by the US, Mexico, Peru, Canada and Panama asks that Venezuela cancel its constitutional assembly and is very critical of the Nicolas Maduro government, while the document of Caricom - traditional allies of Venezuela - mentions nothing of the sort.

    If no agreement is reached, the 14 countries promoting the meeting wil consider alternatives, such as trying to pass a resolution in the General Assembly itself, which needs only 18 votes, or simply issuing a statement to the press.

    The first point on Monday's agenda is a conference of OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, at which various possible procedures for dealing with the Venezuela problem could be announced.

    Afterwards, several members of the Venezuelan opposition, including the head of the Foreign Policy Commission of the National Assembly, Luis Florido, and lawmaker Williams Davila, will voice their demands at a press conference,

    In another meeting, the foreign ministers and Almagro will have what is expected to be an intense debate with civil society on such subjects as abortion and LGTB rights.