Maduro's opposition views OAS push for diplomacy as victory
Fears of coup, civil war prompt diplomatic action
MIAMI – Amid an economic crisis and political instability and repression, there is impending chaos in Venezuela. But the international diplomatic community jumped to try to stop a disaster in the oil-rich nation.
Veteran U.S. diplomat Tom Shannon met with President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. Diplomats from Panama, Spain and the Dominican Republic want to help mediate talks.
"It's up to the two parties to determine whether or not the facilitators are the right ones," Shannon said during a press conference on Friday.
While the diplomats focus on mediating a negotiation that will try to persuade Maduro to change his undemocratic ways, Maduro was at a ceremony to congratulate the Venezuelan military on Friday.
On Thursday, the majority of the 34 member nations of the Organization of American States voted in support of a democratic charter on Venezuela, which could lead to a suspension.
OAS chief Luis Almagro blamed Maduro for the humanitarian crisis and said the oil-rich country should be one of the most prosperous and influential countries in the region. But instead, it is mired in corruption, poverty and violence.
"I don't believe [Maduro] has a a lot of time to survive internationally," Venezuela's National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup said about the OAS 20-12 vote.
Although Maduro still has support from Ecuador and Bolivia, he is losing influence. There are new administrations in Brazil, Peru and Argentina. His administration has cut oil deliveries to Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Belize.
Almagro said OAS member states should support opposition leader Henrique Capriles' push for a referendum to recall Maduro. Meanwhile, Venezuela's foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez said Almagro's actions are part of an effort to overthrow Maduro, not to help the Venezuelan people. The OAS continued to call for diplomacy.
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