Jamaica supports OAS vote against Maduro’s second term

Jamaica yesterday voted with 18 other members of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s second term as president of Venezuela.

The resolution, presented by Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay, and Peru, was approved with 19 votes in favour, six against, and eight abstentions. One member country was absent.

The content of the resolution was consistent with one adopted at the OAS General Assembly in June 2018.

On that occasion, the Jamaican Government, in supporting the resolution, acknowledged that “the fundamental values and principles including the maintenance of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as non-intervention in the internal affairs of states, remain pertinent considerations”.

Last May, Maduro declared victory following an election that his political opponents and many foreign nations consider illegitimate because popular opponents were banned from running and the largest anti-government parties boycotted the race.

A statement from Jamaica’s foreign ministry yesterday noted that in the June resolution the island joined other member states in stating that their interest “has always and continues to be that of the well-being of the people of Venezuela”.

Added the ministry: “Jamaica stands ready to lend any support that may be deemed helpful and that could facilitate renewed dialogue to alleviate the serious challenges facing Venezuela.”

Noting that Jamaica continues to support those principles, the foreign ministry said that Kingston remains hopeful that dialogue will take place among the parties, “consistent with our position that the people of Venezuela should have the opportunity to resolve their various issues through dialogue at the national level”.

The foreign ministry said that even as Jamaica took the vote yesterday, the country was represented by its embassy in Caracas at Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony “as a sign of our interest in remaining engaged with Venezuela, with which we maintain diplomatic relations”.

The other countries that voted not to recognise Maduro’s second term were: Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Lucia, and the United States of America.