By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – The Organization of American States (OAS) will assess the political situation in Venezuela at a June 23 meeting, called at the request of the head of the regional bloc, Luis Almagro, according to the organization’s website.
The extraordinary meeting was convened by the group’s Permanent Council to discuss the Democratic Chapter invoked last month by Almagro to analyze “the alteration of the democratic order” of Venezuela.
Venezuelan opposition lawmakers have asked the OAS to invoke organization’s Democratic Charter, alleging “institutional and a humanitarian crisis" in the country.
"Satisfaction for the setting of the date. Our confidence in discussions and decisions emanating from the Extraordinary Session" Almagro said via Twitter after the OAS made the official announcement on its website.
Venezuela could be suspended from the organization if two-thirds of the 34-member group believes it has seriously undermined its own democracy.
The country is “in risk of falling into a situation of illegitimacy” if changes are not made at the executive branch level, Almagro said in a statement May 31 that was addressed to the head of the council, Juan Jose Arcuri.
Almagro called the meeting after drawing his own conclusions and considering allegations “of constitutional order alteration” made by the National Assembly of Venezuela -- the opposition majority.
“Venezuela has lost the purpose of the policy. Forgot to defend the long-term collective good instead of short-term individual good”, he said in a letter published on the OAS website.
Member states are required to make their decision based on a more than 130-page report issued by Almagro but some of countries have already expressed support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Nicaragua said the move amounts to interference while Colombia believes Venezuela should be allowed to solve its own problems. Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Argentina support dialogue initiatives.
Caribbean states voiced support last weekend for political dialogue between opposition lawmakers and the Venezuelan government during a meeting of the Seventh Summit of the Association of Caribbean States held in Cuba.