Tuesday, 27 June 2017 10:03:05 (AST)
 

National·News

Gonsalves says OAS head ‘overreached’ on Venezuela

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves addresses the ULP's convention on Sunday. (Photo: Duggie "Nose" Joseph/

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he will write to Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro who he says has allowed himself and the hemispheric grouping to be used as a “battering ram against” Venezuela.

“He has overplayed his hand and must stop it. I am not denouncing him and say that he is not a good and decent human being, but he has overreached and he has made errors and he must stop it,” Gonsalves told the convention of his Unity Labour Party on Sunday.

“There are some people who are calling for he himself to be recalled as the Secretary General of the OAS. I am not going there, at least, not on the 29th of May. But I am saying that he must be very measured in his approach and not be polemical and contentious. That is not his role as the secretary general of the OAS.”

Almagro has been openly critical of the Nicolas Maduro administration in Venezuela and has taken to Twitter to voice his views about the South American leader.

On Tuesday, two days after Gonsalves’ comments, Almagro called for an emergency meeting of regional governments to evaluate Venezuela’s respect for democracy.

Observers say the move could lead to the Venezuela’s suspension from the OAS.

Venezuela Ambassador to Kingstown Yuri Pimentel, Taiwan Ambassador Baushuan Ger, and other diplomats among persons at Sunday's convention. (Photo: Duggie "Nose" Joseph)

Venezuela Ambassador to Kingstown Yuri Pimentel, Taiwan Ambassador Baushuan Ger, and other diplomats among persons at Sunday’s convention. (Photo: Duggie “Nose” Joseph)

But Gonsalves on Sunday signalled his nation’s continued solidarity with Venezuela, which is facing an economic and political crisis, which has led to mounting social unrest amidst efforts by the opposition to topple the Maduro government.

“SVG — our government and people, we are not fair weather friends. They are friends of the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Gonsalves said.

He told party supporters that there is a “conspiracy” in Venezuela in alliance with elements externally to undermine the country.

Gonsalves said the same set of forces carried out a “constitutional coup d’état” against Dilma Rousseff, Brazi’s suspended president.

He further said there are political challenges in Venezuela because people forget certain fundamental issues.

He said the presidency in the hands of the ruling party and the legislature in the hands of the opposition, adding that this is the same situation in the United States.

“And they have their battles and their wars, but it is not a fight to the death,” Gonsalves said, adding that controlling the legislature doesn’t mean you control the judiciary or the army — an arm of the executive that the president controls.

Gonsalves said he was also in solidarity with Cuba.

He said he was heartened by the move by Barrack Obama administration to open up relations with Cuba and has removed the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“I’m calling here again, as we have done repeatedly as a government, for the president to go further and use his executive authority to roll back many features of the embargo, the blockade against Cuba, even though we do recognise that the complete removal of the embargo will legislative require action in the congress. But we need to see further movements,” Gonsalves said.

He said one cannot on the one remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, say it is no longer seen as a security threat to the US, but have an executive order saying Venezuela is a security threat to the United States.

“How could Venezuela be a security threat to the United States of America? Small Venezuela, with 27 million people, with no significant armed forces, where you have the greatest power in the world, the United States, with 330 million people and the most powerful military the world has ever seen?

“You see, we need to keep these things in proportion. And I say all of that while reaffirming yet again, our friendship and solidarity with the government and people of the United States of America,” Gonsalves said.

IWN Conversations

13 thoughts on “Gonsalves says OAS head ‘overreached’ on Venezuela

  1. Anita says:

    It sounds like Ralphie is so mad because the OAS observers came back with an election report unfavourable to him so now to get back at them he’s targeting the OAS head to vent on. Guess what Ralph, you won’t succeed in messing with the OAS Head. Give it up!

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Prime Minister, you say that:

    “SVG — our government and people, we are not fair weather friends. They are friends of the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

    Prime Minister, you rhetorically conflate four very different constituencies: the people of SVG, the government of SVG, the people of Venezula, and the government of Venezuela.

    You well know that you or “we” need not be all four at the same time, not now, not any more: either you and the people of SVG are friends of the government of Venezuela or the two are friends of the people of Venezuela. Being both is neither morally nor logically possible.

    Obviously, your government — but not our people, or at least those conscious of what is going in that country — supports the government of Venezuela which makes your government (but not our people) the enemy of the mass of Venezuelan people.

    • Patrick Ferrari says:

      This cannot be added to or subtracted from.

      • C. ben-David says:

        Actually, I left out two conflations: government with political party in both countries. So Ralph is actually trying to say that in both Venezuela and SVG party=government=people.

        Too bad most Vincies don’t understand the difference.

      • Jeannine James says:

        And that late-breaking conflation is probably the most depressing of them all. Very effective political miseducation.

  3. janassy says:

    Mr Salt please! Birds of a feather flock together. One day Venezuela Maduro and you Mr ( own every square inch of SVG) you both will have to face defeat and answer to the mass corruption that has taken over your respected Country, it may not be today or tomorrow but one day your bottoms will drop out.

  4. Jeannine James says:

    This is really rich. Who or what is Venezuela? Is Venezuela Maduro? Or is it the people who are now starving and on the receiving end of police crackdowns as they protest starvation and try to find means to satisfy a basic human need?

    Nobody can tell the pm of SVG whom to salute and for what reasons but the crap he’s on about here is hardly the point. Nothing Almagro of the OAS does or does not do is going to change the current heartbreaking situation in Venezuela today. Nothing Almagro says or does is going to erase the reality of the ineptness and wanton recklessness that defined and that continues to define both Chavez and his spawn, Maduro.

    How can anyone be proud of a head of state like SVG is now sporting who goes out in public, picks the most gratuitous, self-serving nonsense to pontificate about and just generally chats shit without reservation.

    pm SVG seems to admire only the factions of the OAS, the observer missions, that can constipate themselves with the final report of a two-by-four 2015 election for almost a half year and then bounce out with a pile of doublespeak that succeeded only in heightening confusion rather than throwing light.

    I wonder if this pm has troubled himself to hear or even to understand the patter coming from other Latin American leaders on Venezuela and the state of its people.

    O, to have a head of state that is not a shameless navel-gazer, that would lift his head out of trite concerns, that would step out of the morass, that would attract light, that would not have a great need to take advantage of the state & condition of his people, who would be shy to talk shit and of which anyone, like him or not like him, know him personally or not know him personally, could be proud in the balance! No one needs to hear from a train wreck.

  5. Brown Boy USA says:

    How dare the OAS criticized Maduro, the one who helps financing the PM and putting this country further in debt, and a man who only cares about power and someone who wants to keep the will and freedom of the people of Venezuela at bay? The PM couldn’t be more boldfaced and arrogant. The longest rope has an end.

  6. Patrick Ferrari says:

    What do you call it when a Commissioner of Police dresses up in the ruling party colours and hits the campaign trail for them, waving the significant and symbolic four fingers? Job security.

    That is what this is.

    • Lostpet says:

      Good way of putting it. I was going to say “boot licking detail”. At least Dr. Salt knows where his loans are coming from. He is not biting the BIG hand (Maduro, the space cadet) that feeds his power.

  7. Lostpet says:

    I hope Dr. Salt and his support for a government that enacts policy that empoverishes the most resource-rich country in South America, is not a sign of things to come as Dr. Salt continues to tax SVG. Venezuela has a terrible system, that is the meat of it.

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