The United States ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Francisco Mora, said on Wednesday that at the moment “the conditions are not right” for a return of Venezuela to the organization.
Venezuela left the OAS in April 2019 after President Nicolás Maduro assured that the organization had become a “space of imperial domination.”
“If he returns to the OAS, to the Inter-American System, it is important that Venezuela have free, transparent, credible, verified elections,” Mora added.
Venezuela must hold general elections in 2024. In the last 2 weeks, all the rectors of the National Electoral Council resigned from their positions, and a legislative commission —in which the first lady, Cilia Flores, participates— is seeking candidates to form a new CNE . Given this scenario, the opposition said that its primary election to choose its presidential candidate will have to be self-managed.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro called during his visit to the OAS last April on the return of Venezuela to the Inter-American System.
The US ambassador assured that “they are clear” that the organization will support the reincorporation of the South American country into the OAS when it demonstrates democratic advances.
The same conditions of democratic progress have been reiterated by the US government to consider the possibility of withdrawing sanctions against Venezuela.
Relations between the US and Venezuela continue to be marked by tensions derived from sanctions against the Maduro government, as well as the lack of a US embassy in Caracas. In March 2019, the administration of then-President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel in Venezuela.
At the beginning of May, James Story ceased his work in front of the US Foreign Office for Venezuela at the US embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, and was replaced by Francisco Palmierinow chargé d’affaires of the embassy.
US attentive to elections in Guatemala
A few days before the polls for general elections in Guatemala open, Ambassador Mora pointed out that the US is closely following the process.
The US has financially supported the election observer mission in Guatemala with more than half of the budget, he said.
“We are committed to that election and to democracy, we are also concerned about the process of disqualifying some candidates. It is important that democracy and elections are free, transparent and that they include all those who want to participate,” Mora pointed out.
Sunday’s elections have been marked by controversy after the electoral authority denied the registration of some candidates, reversed that of others already registered and accepted those of some who presented irregularities.
“It is not only a Central American but a regional crisis where democracy is being questioned and I believe that we have the obligation to defend and promote as the Democratic Charter says,” added Mora.
Regarding this Democratic Charter, the ambassador said that during the General Assembly that began on Wednesday and ends on Friday in Washington, it will be a priority for the US to promote its proposal to strengthen the document with a resolution that includes observing compliance with democratic processes in the region. .
“Complex” relations with El Salvador
Faced with complaints of human rights violations in El Salvador by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Mora assured that relations between the two countries remain “complex.”
“There are events in terms of democracy and human rights that worry us a lot, but there are aspects where we continue to work with them. The issue of the rule of law, human rights in particular, is something that worries us in El Salvador,” Mora said.
In April, the IACHR called on the government of Nayib Bukele to “restore the rights and guarantees suspended by the emergency regime.”