Delcy Rodríguez, the Foreign Minister of Venezuela, held a press conference yesterday to justify Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Organization of American States (OAS). In the conference, Rodríguez released scathing remarks about Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, targeting her leadership in Wednesday’s OAS’ Permanent Council meeting, which aimed to create a plan for resolving the Venezuelan crisis.
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Argentina last held chair leadership for the OAS Permanent Council from July to September of 2016, during which Rodríguez said Malcorra aimed to negotiate a way “to lift up” Venezuela and “to cut off Almagro’s head.” The head in this situation is Luis Almagro, the OAS’ Secretary General. Rodríguez insinuates that Malcorra, while holding some power as chair, wanted to hold the spotlight when determining a resolution for Venezuela.
Just in case her first statement wasn’t clear enough, Rodríguez goes on to add, “[Argentina is] the director of the interventionist scheme, the director of the violating scheme of international standards.”
Given Almagro’s loud condemnation of Venezuelan “democracy,” the Malcorra-heavy accusations are misplaced (and wildly unsupported). After Venezuela announced its intention to take over the Legislative Assembly, for example, Almagro called for OAS meetings to expel Venezuela from the organization, and released critical statements: “What we had warned about has unfortunately become a reality… these measures are the last strokes with which the regime suppresses the country’s national order and ends with democracy… To stay quiet before a dictatorship is the lowest indignity in politics.”
Rodríguez makes light of the immense amount of criticism Venezuela has received and the negotiations they deny, shaking it off as mere gossip. “We say to [Malcorra] that no, we do not negotiate the interests or the rights of Venezuela.” The Venezuelan foreign minister says she has allowed “this gossip” because “not being in the organization anymore, she felt more free.” Free from the repercussions of international denouncement, perhaps.
- Read More: Leaders Across The Argentine Political Spectrum Criticize Maduro In Light Of Political Crisis In Venezuela
In a final jab, Rodríguez reminds Malcorra of her failed candidacy as United Nations Secretary General, and compares her “desire” for US-power to the liberation Rodríguez feels:
“The world has been saved from this official becoming the Secretary General. We have seen her behavior. She violates all the international standards. Nothing is important to her. She attacks the essence of multilateralism. I feel happy that, when I open my eyes every morning, I do not have to call Washington so they tell me what to do.”
Unlike Malcorra and Almagro, who Rodríguez says are “instruments to complete the [US and OAS] mandate,” Venezuela’s split from the governing bodies has allowed Venezuela a “break from the imperial chains of history.”