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Antigua-Barbuda ambassador warns OAS against 'politics of exclusion'
Published on May 11, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

Antigua and Barbuda’s permanent representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, speaking at a meeting of the Permanent Council on Wednesday. Photo: Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS

WASHINGTON, USA -- Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, on Wednesday sounded a warning to OAS member countries against “the politics of exclusion” and meetings, headed by powerful nations, which then seek to impose their decisions on the membership as a whole.

Speaking at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation on a proposal to convene a special ministerial meeting to consider the situation in Venezuela, including a proposal to change the rules governing such meetings, the seasoned diplomat declared: “My delegation sounds a warning about a troubling development in this Organization. It is one of the politics of exclusion – the creation of a process in which some countries exclude other member states from consultations, resulting in the formation of positions that are then introduced in this Council as a fait accompli.”

He said, “The process becomes one of achieving objectives, even at the cost of creating divisions in our membership and weakening the authority of the Organization.”

Sanders, who has served as president of the Permanent Council, cautioned against this “emerging practice”, stating that “each member state is entitled to a voice and to be consulted; not to have the self-interest of a few imposed upon them”.

The statement of the Antigua and Barbuda representative was supported by several delegations from the Caribbean and Latin America. The convenors of the small group meetings, including Mexico and Canada, in declaring they were acting in “good faith”, agreed that future consultations should be inclusive and formal.

The Antigua and Barbuda diplomat also argued against the “unexplained haste” with which some powerful countries are trying to convene the ministerial meeting on Venezuela, which has withdrawn from the Organisation. The meeting was being proposed for May 22.

Sanders said that many delegations “remain unaware of the intended outcome of the meeting and its purpose”.

“Yet”, he said, “We are asked to blindly support its convocation and a date on which to hold it.”

Sanders urged that the date for the meeting be deferred “to facilitate a thorough review of its outcome statement by all delegations in an inclusive and transparent process”. Otherwise, he warned, “we will do nothing, but prepare the ground for disagreement and discord that is unhelpful to the credibility and authority of the OAS”.

Despite the unhappiness of some Latin American states, the Permanent Council agreed to defer taking a decision on the date for the ministerial meeting until Monday, and to establish a formal process by which all member states could work on a draft statement for consideration by ministers when the meeting is held.
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C. ben-David:

Antigua and Barbuda is an ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) member and also gets Petrocaribe preferential oil purchases from Venezuela at market value for 5%-50% up front with a grace period of one to two years; the remainder can be paid through a 17-25 year financing agreement with 1% interest if oil prices are above US$40 per barrel.

Accordingly, Sir Ronald is obliged to say and do anything it takes to keep the oil train coming from this nasty regime.

As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.


“Politics of exclusion”: Where did we see that in play, used most recently?

Was it when the OAS brushed off Bolivia? Removing it, sorry, excluding it from its role as pro tempore president along with Haiti the vice president, and calling for an extraordinary illegal meeting on Venezuela, despite objections from other member countries? I think so!

Bolivia’s OAS representative Diego Rodriguez correctly described the action as, an “institutional coup” indicating that “...The OAS has committed an institutional coup, it has disregarded the presidency of Bolivia and the vice presidency of Haiti...” Yep, suck it up comrade, what a have just been excluded, nay ousted!

Is the above not a fitting example of OAS “politics of exclusion” our Sir Ronald speaks about when he says “...My delegation sounds a warning about a troubling development in this Organization. It is one of the politics of exclusion – the creation of a process in which some countries exclude other member states from consultations, resulting in the formation of positions that are then introduced in this Council as a fait accompli.” Yep, I think so, had to be!

OAS under the current leadership, is fast becoming a failure in the region. Time to look towards CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), and UNASUR (Union of South American Republics) the "new kids on the bloc" so to speak, for some real democratic justice nationwide, and mutual respect for national sovereignty.

On the other hand, C.ben-David are you for real? Nah! Don't think so. You're not!


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