From among the CARICOM grouping, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines voted against the resolution, while Barbados, Belize, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana abstained.
In all, 21 countries voted Yes, 4 voted No and 9 abstained.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Sir Ronald Sanders said his country refused to support the resolution because it recognises Juan Guaido as the President. Furthermore, Venezuela is not represented in the Western Hemispheric organisation because the Nicolas Maduro administration had withdrawn that country.
“Among the reasons that my delegation opposed the resolution is that it would require my government to accept the persons purporting to represent the government of Venezuela; government which ceased to be a member State of this organisation in 2019 having given due notice of its withdrawal in accordance with the Charter of the Organisation,” Sir Ronald said.
The Guyana abstention caught many persons by surprise as since taking office in August, the Guyana government has openly backed the US. Guyana in an unprecedented move, supported the US’ instead of the Latin American candidate for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank.
While Guyana earlier this month attended a Lima Group meeting, it did not sign a statement calling for free and fair elections and reiterated that Juan Guaido is the legitimate President of Venezuela. Guyana does not recognise Guaido as that Venezuela’s President.
During Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Guyana, he and Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd inked an accord to activate the 21-year old Ship Rider Agreement for joint and air and maritime operations to interdict drug traffickers.
CARICOM countries have long indicated their policy of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of the South American country where the United States and its allies are seeking to remove President Nicholas Maduro in favour of the Opposition Leader Juan Guaido.
The resolution had been co-sponsored by the delegations of Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The following is the full text of the resolution:
THE LACK OF MINIMUM DEMOCRATIC CONDITIONS TO GUARANTEE FREE, FAIR, AND TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS IN THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA
(Co-sponsored by the Delegations of Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
RECALLING the Inter-American Democratic Charter, General Assembly resolution AG/RES. 2944 (XLIX-O/19), and Permanent Council resolutions CP/RES. 1156 (2291/20), CP/RES. 1143 (2269/20), and CP/RES. 1117 (2200/19);
HIGHLIGHTING the continuing deterioration of political, social, economic, and humanitarian conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, exacerbated by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;
AFFIRMING its profound concern at and rejection of the maneuvers to secure control by the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, which has taken essential democratic institutions captive, undermining the separation and independence of the branches of government, in serious violation of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Inter-American Democratic Charter;
BEARING IN MIND that the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela continues to be the only legitimate and democratically elected institution in Venezuela; and,
EXPRESSING, with serious concern, that the actions carried out by Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate regime violate national laws, undermining the electoral process and threatening to eliminate the legitimate National Assembly, the last democratic and institutional venue through which the demands of Venezuelan society can be channeled and find a voice,
To condemn, in the most implacable terms, the actions of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro that undermine the democratic system and the separation of powers through the control of the Supreme Court of Justice and by usurping the constitutional functions of the National Assembly to, inter alia, legislate on electoral matters and appoint the members of the National Electoral Council. This clearly compromises the minimum conditions for guaranteeing the organization of democratic electoral processes in keeping with international standards.
To declare that its recognition of the elections to the National Assembly of Venezuela will depend on the existence of the necessary conditions of freedom, justice, impartiality, and transparency, with guarantees for the participation of all political actors and citizens and the release of political prisoners, under reasonable deadlines for their organization, and with independent and credible international electoral observation.
To welcome the publication, on September 16, 2020, of the report of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and to reaffirm the importance of the immediate and complete implementation of the recommendations contained therein, including the investigation of human rights violations and the cessation of the use of excessive force, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and torture.
To make an unhesitating call for the members of the legitimate National Assembly to receive protection, and to demand the prompt release of all political prisoners and the closure of their judicial processes, an end to arbitrary arrests, detentions, and harassment of citizens, and that permission be given for the safe return of those members of the opposition who are in exile.
To demand full and unhindered access to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and crisis-affected populations in Venezuela, in accordance with established humanitarian principles.
To reject interference in the functioning of political parties by the illegitimate Maduro regime, which seeks to undermine the independence and plurality of political parties and organizations, which are essential elements of representative democracy, as established by Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
To urge the calling, as promptly as possible, of free, fair, transparent, and legitimate presidential elections, with independent and credible international observers, to lead to the appointment of a democratically elected government in accordance with the will of the Venezuelan people.
To reaffirm the legitimacy of the democratically elected National Assembly, as well as to strengthen support for democratic actors in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in their efforts toward the peaceful restoration of democracy, in accordance with the Constitution of Venezuela.
To request that the Secretary General present periodic reports on the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and on compliance with this resolution and other resolutions on the subject to the Permanent Council, with the pertinent recommendations.
To request the Secretary General’s good offices in coordinating with the relevant international organizations in order to formulate recommendations for member states on possible actions and initiatives in support of the efforts of the Venezuelan people toward the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
To reiterate the member states’ acceptance of the Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States appointed by the Venezuelan National Assembly, until the holding of new free and fair presidential elections that lead to the appointment of a democratically elected government, as established in resolution AG/RES. 2944 of 2019.
- Countries: CARICOM