Haiti voted against OAS sanctions on Venezuela despite warning of US Senator Marco Rubio

Posted by hougansydney.com on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Under: Diplomacy

American Senator Marco Rubio, warned Haiti on Monday that the United States would cut its aid to the country if it did not vote affirmatively to implement sanctions on Venezuela at a special session at the OAS on Tuesday, regarding the degenerating political situation in the Bolivarian Republic.

Senator Rubio believed that the OAS vote set for Tuesday, to essentially force Venezuela to organize general elections, was very important for the future of democracy in the region, and of the organization itself.

Marco Rubio said that he was very surprised by the indecision of countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and others that “have suffered a lot in terms of humanitarian issues and have themselves suffered the consequences of the lack of democracy.” 

But, voting against the resolution despite the threat of the American Senator, is exactly what Haiti did.

On Tuesday, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) convened a special meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela, following the sabotage of several countries, including Haiti, that delayed the start. However 20 countries voted in favor of proceeding with the debate.

The Venezuelan ambassador, Samuel Moncada, pointed out at the beginning that he opposed and rejected the act for being "grotesque", as well as being part of a set of pressure against the country. He continued to argue that the discussion is based on Venezuela's internal affairs, and called for a legal justification on this " violation of sovereignty ." 

Haiti was one of the staunchest supporter of Venezuela at the meeting, calling instead for dialogues instead of sanctions. The Haitian ambassador to the OAS Jean Victor Harvel Jean Baptiste qualified the report of the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro that said that the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has become a dictator as "gossip", because he was not given a copy in French.

According to the Haitian ambassador, "for Haiti, this interference by the Secretary General in the internal affairs of Venezuela was a threat to all countries in the region."  "If this happens in Venezuela how can American states prevent this intervention happening elsewhere?" continued Jean Victor who explained that Haiti's "support for Venezuela is really a matter of principles."

Haiti was expected to vote against the resolution, as it has done previously at the OAS and other International organizations, because of the historic ties between Haiti and Venezuela.- Venezuelan leader Simon Bolivar and his men received food, shelter and munitions in southern Haiti before liberating South America from Spanish rule.

Other countries that did not vote in favor of the resolution and sided with Haiti's suggestion of dialogue include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El salvador, Uruguay, Guatemala, Panama, Chile, Jamaica, Dominica, Argentina and Colombia.

The Dominican Republic stressed that the OAS should see its own mistakes of the past not to repeat them, said that if they tried to solve a problem from the outside, they would later have to apologize, as they did with their country. For its part Nicaragua pointed out that the organization wants to grant "supranational powers " that nobody granted.

The delegations of Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and the United States voted in favor of sanctions and called for the restoration of democratic order, the publication of an electoral timetable, the release of political prisoners, separation of powers from the country and the proper functioning of the National Assembly.

In : Diplomacy