BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – The Group of American States (OAS) ought to keep away from “extreme” positions when confronting regional crises like Venezuela’s social and financial collapse and as an alternative promote dialogue, a challenger for the physique’s prime job stated on Tuesday.
Hugo de Zela, a longtime Peruvian diplomat and his nation’s ambassador to the US, is working to unseat the group’s secretary-general, Luis Almagro, who’s in search of a second five-year time period. Almagro’s present time period is about to finish subsequent Might.
The OAS should push for issues to be solved inside its member nations by facilitating dialogue between completely different factions, de Zela advised Reuters on the sidelines of a diplomatic assembly in Bogota.
“If the organization puts itself on one of the extremes, it stops being effective at solving problems, it stops being present in the solution and it becomes part of the problem,” stated de Zela. “That cannot happen.”
Venezuela’s financial and political disaster – which has led to widespread shortages of meals and drugs and an exodus of individuals – has dominated current OAS conferences, with some member states denouncing President Nicolas Maduro as a dictator, whereas others again him.
Member states have additionally tussled over the admittance to conferences of a consultant despatched by Venezuela’s opposition chief, Juan Guaido, who argues Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. Guaido this 12 months invoked the structure to imagine an interim presidency.
Almagro, a Uruguayan whose re-election bid is backed by the US, Colombia and Brazil, has sought to ramp up strain on Maduro, together with refusing to rule out using drive towards his authorities final 12 months.
“It’s evident that in Venezuela, there is an interruption of the democratic process, it’s evident that the Maduro regime lacks legitimacy, that’s not under discussion. But at the same time, to actively promote the use of force to solve the case of Venezuela is unreal and doesn’t help,” stated de Zela.
“That is putting ourselves on an extreme. Talking constantly about the use of force to solve the issue of Venezuela is not an effective contribution or a realistic contribution.”
Venezuelans should remedy their very own issues by dialogue, de Zela added, saying free and honest elections should be held urgently within the oil-producing nation.
“The OAS is not having, as it once did, an active role in cooperation to solve these things,” de Zela stated. “There is a lack of dialogue between the member countries and the general secretariat.”