The Organization of American States to Discuss the Situation in Venezuela

Latin America's power balance has shifted

The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the political and economic crisis in Venezuela on May 31, 2017. Eighteen countries, including the largest states of the region (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil) voted to call a meeting; thirteen countries abstained from voting, one country (Nicaragua) voted against.

The voting results in the OAS are showing a shifting balance of power in the Latin American region. Latin America's Left Turn in the most states of the region in 2000-ies was replaced by right-wing and centre-right parties, most of them critical towards the current government of Venezuela.

The first warning was the exception of Caracas from Mercosur under the pretext of failure to meet standards of integration; the next step would be to putting pressure on the OAS right down to the exclusion of Venezuela from the organization on the basis of non-compliance with the inter-American Democratic Charter.

In this situation, Caracas announced its decision to leave the OAS in late April. Therefore, further pressure on Venezuela from this organization will have a symbolic meaning. The OAS doesn’t have special means that can have a real impact on the development of the political situation in Venezuela; it doesn’t have any prerogatives to impose economic sanctions.

In conditions of increasing pressure on Venezuela, the country will continue to develop bilateral relations with its allies, especially with countries of the Bolivarian bloc.

Venezuela