CANCUN, Mexico – The Organization of American States failed on Monday to approve either of the two declarations on the crisis in Venezuela presented at the Cancun, Mexico, meeting of member states’ foreign ministers, with neither receiving the required 23 votes.
The proposal negotiated by a broad group of countries asking Caracas to reconsider convening a Constitutional National Assembly to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution failed, obtaining 20 votes in favor, five opposed, eight abstentions and one country absent – Venezuela itself.
The other initiative, proposed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines and less critical of the Venezuelan government, received only eight votes in favor, but 14 against, 11 abstentions and one absence.
At first, just the proposal negotiated by the broader group of nations was to be voted upon, and the president of the session, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, had said that the text had a sufficient number of nations in favor to be brought to a successful vote.
He also said that the proposal by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, put forward in the name of the Caribbean Community, had been withdrawn, just like another text, the harshest of the three, pushed by the US, Mexico, Canada, Panama and Peru.
However, after a recess lasting more than an hour to study the proposal on the constituent assembly that theoretically had sufficient support to pass, Morales called votes on both that text and the Caricom proposal.
Thus, everything indicates that Monday’s meeting will end without any accord, although a final and definitive decision still has not been made and the delegations are currently expressing their points of view to one another on the measures.
A two-thirds vote of the 34 OAS member states present at the meeting (all the countries of the hemisphere except for Cuba) is required to pass proposals of this kind.
The Monday meeting once again resumed the discussion held on May 31 in Washington that had to be suspended after five hours when it became clear that no agreement was possible to reconcile the two proposals of the declaration presented at that time.
The OAS General Assembly will be inaugurated on Monday evening by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and will conclude on Wednesday.