“Venezuela’s isolation does not harm the government, it harms the people”: National Assembly chief

With the possible suspension of Venezuela from the OAS, the Venezuelan opposition says that now Nicolás Maduro will be able to do whatever he wants and will not have to respond to the international community if the isolation continues

"Venezuela's isolation does not harm the government, it harms the people": chief National Assembly

"It is the last General Assembly of the OAS where a Venezuelan Foreign Minister participates," said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro before the vote on Monday, June 4, in which the organization had the situation of Venezuela on the agenda. In the same assembly, the resolution was approved, with which it is intended to suspend Venezuela from the organization due to the democratic rupture, although this movement would be more symbolic since Venezuela had already requested to leave the continental block.

Leer en español: "El aislamiento de Venezuela no perjudica al gobierno, perjudica al pueblo": jefe Asamblea Nacional

Countries such as Nicaragua and Bolivia did not express their opinion, nor did they support Venezuela's claim to the suspension resolution. For his part, Maduro also dismissed the power of the organism, which he described as "useless", because "there is no international scenario in the world where you lost more time." "It is a useless organism that unfortunately suffered an involution and has become a ministry of colonies of the U.S. imperialism," the president said upon hearing the decision.

The continent asks for the liberation of Venezuela

It should be noted that this is the first time that all the countries that assumed the right to speak asked the Organization of American States (OAS) to take decisive action against the dictatorship in Venezuela. The United States was more drastic in suggesting not only the non-recognition of the electoral results of May 20, in which Nicolás Maduro was re-elected, it also urged military intervention.

With 19 votes in favor, 4 against and 11 abstentions, the OAS member countries condemned the re-election of Maduro as president and agreed on another meeting to exclude Caracas from the political forum. Given this, Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, recalled that in April 2017 his nation had already decided to leave the block voluntarily.

The process of voluntary departure takes two years. According to the OAS legal committee, Venezuela will be a full member of the organization until the last day, in April 2019, and will, therefore, maintain its obligations until then and will be subject to possible penalties. Hence, its possible suspension has a more symbolic character.

The approval of a resolution on Venezuela serves to establish the criteria of legality and legitimacy of the American continent with respect to the Maduro regime and opens the door to a regional strategy for changes in diplomatic relations and the imposition of sanctions.

It is worth remembering that, since July 2017, the White House has imposed sanctions on President Nicolás Maduro himself, calling him a "dictator". It also added Vice President Tareck El Aissami to the list, as well as eight judges and the heads of the National Electoral Council (CNE). The last outstanding figure of the chavism that was sanctioned is Diosdado Cabello.

Is it convenient to isolate Venezuela?

Although the international community, mainly the United States, the Lima Group and the European Union have punished Venezuela with pronouncements, economic sanctions, reduction of diplomatic and commercial relations; for the regime of Nicolás Maduro these acts do not seem to matter much, and this is what the opposition party Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) expresses. The head of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Omar Barboza, who militates in UNT, said at a press conference after announcing the pronouncement of the OAS that "Venezuela's isolation does not harm the government, it only harms the people, because the Government and its friends have what to eat, they have how to live, but the people are the ones who suffer the consequences."

For Barboza, the crisis in which the country is sunk is not a secret, but for Nicolás Maduro what the international community does, does not affect his plans. On the contrary, "it now allows him to act more dictatorial and do what he sees fit and with the departure of the continental blocks, there is no longer any authority that questions his decisions, nor any power that forces him to change his course." According to the president of the Confederation of Associations of Agricultural Producers of Venezuela (Fedeagro, by its acronym in Spanish), Aquiles Hopkins, the production in the country gives to supply between 20% and 25% of the population, and "President Maduro does not care, for what the country produces is there to supply his close ones."

Venezuela is experiencing one of the worst political and economic crises in its history. Its inhabitants struggle daily with hyperinflation -which will reach 13,000% in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-, the food shortage of food and almost any medicine, and live plagued by crime in its streets.

Latin American Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Translated from ""El aislamiento de Venezuela no perjudica al gobierno, perjudica al pueblo": jefe Asamblea Nacional"

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