On Fri., Apr. 13 and Sat., Apr. 14, 2018, the 8th Summit of the Americas was held in Lima, Peru, with the theme of “democratic governance in the face of corruption.”
All the countries of the Americas (North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean) were represented with the exception of Venezuela, which was excluded from the meeting.
Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno left before the summit’s start due to a hostage crisis on the Colombian border which resulted in the suspected death of two journalists. So only 33 of 35 nations took part.
U.S. President Donald Trump did not attend. He was preoccupied with the bombing of Syria jointly with France and Great Britain. He was represented by his daughter/advisor Ivanka Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
On the summit’s agenda was lots of talk about the issue of corruption. But the central issue for the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS), which acts as Washington’s Ministry of Colonial Affairs, was the question of Venezuela’s upcoming elections and establishing a united front against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who said before the summit that it “is not one of our priorities, no decision will be made, it is a real waste of time.”
After banning Maduro, Peru shamelessly invited leaders of the Venezuelan opposition to represent that country: Deputy Delsa Solórzano and Deputy Julio Borges Antonio Ledezma.
Haitian President Jovenel Moise did attend the meeting in Peru, but in his speech for the occasion, he said nothing which conveyed the reality of Haiti today. In other words, the Haitian people did not recognize themselves in the Head of State’s presentation. He spoke only for himself and his small clique controlling state power.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence conducted many bilateral talks with certain leaders of the continent, not only to demand that they publicly support the attack on Syria but also the U.S. campaign against Venezuela. The United States, in his words, is “simply not going to stand by while Venezuela crumbles.” The U.S. is “trying to crumble Venezuela,” he should have said to be honest!
Only Cuba and Bolivia clearly denounced the U.S. bombing of Syria, while the rest of the 33 countries in attendance either supported Washington’s flagrantly illegal action or timidly called for caution and diplomacy.
On the issue of corruption, Bolivian President Evo Morales denounced the supposed fight against corruption as a thinly veiled attempt to overthrow legitimate governments trying to bring change to the disadvantaged masses. He referred to what has just happened in Brazil, with the coup against Dilma Roussef and the imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He drove the point home when he said that the fight against corruption must extend to tax havens, which are an integral part of the capitalist world’s economy.
President Jovenel Moïse, like Michel Temer of Brazil, is indicted for corruption, but blathered on with meaningless words about fighting corruption. He even congratulated himself, saying his administration was making progress in uprooting corruption in Haiti. He did not talk about the on-going corruption crisis in Haiti surrounding the Senate reports on the squandering of PetroCaribe funds by certain people close to him and his role in all of it, especially stopping any debate or votes in Parliament. He did not explain how he relegated the dossier to oblivion by sending it to the Higher Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes, which is a nest of corrupt judges who will bury the matter.
President Moïse did not stand shoulder to shoulder with Cuba and Bolivia, as he should have, in denouncing the obscene exclusion of the Venezuelan president from the Lima summit.
In truth, corruption was not the summit’s real focus. What really mattered to the government of Peru, which hosted the meeting, was Venezuela, which is preparing to hold elections on Sun., May 20. The United States with some OAS members have made clear their strong support for Democratic Unity (MUD), the main Venezuelan opposition coalition. In a statement against the elections, MUD declared: “Do not expect Democratic Unity nor the people to validate what, until now, is only a fraudulent and illegitimate presidential pseudo-election.” All the presidents of countries allied with Lima supported the MUD declaration.
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said: “We cannot look elsewhere, there is a political process without minimum guarantees, we will not respect any election that results from a process of this type, because it is not a democratic election.”
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared “we will be relentless with Venezuela’s oppressive regime… Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela, receives every day a large number of migrants fleeing misery… The social and economic crisis is worsening day by day, which has paradoxically helped the government to repress the civilian population a little more every day… Colombia is the country that suffers the most from the desperate situation of the Venezuelans, that is why we are most interested in the restoration of democracy in our sister nation.”
Newly elected Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said “the situation in Venezuela is not only a problem for Venezuelans, but also for those who love and commit to democracy… There is no independence of powers, respect for human rights or democracy, there are only political prisoners.”
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela all spoke in the same vein and made it clear that they will not recognize the outcome of the upcoming Venezuelan elections. All of this greatly pleased U.S. Vice President Pence, who warmly thanked Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra by saying: “Thank you for your strong position on the tyranny and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.”
Finally, the 33 countries that participated in the 8th Summit of the Americas signed a 57-point agreement to fight corruption.
But on the Summit’s sidelines, the U.S. managed to corral 15 lackeys to sign on Apr. 14 the following statement targeting Venezuela.
“The heads of state and government of Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia, and the Vice President of the United States, meeting on the occasion of the VIII Summit of the Americas, in light of the steady breakdown of constitutional order in Venezuela and concerned about the worsening political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in that country:
“1) Urgently call on the Venezuelan government to hold presidential elections with the necessary guarantees for a free, fair, transparent and democratic process, without political prisoners, including the participation of all Venezuelan political actors; and ratify that elections that do not meet these conditions will lack legitimacy and credibility.
“2) Express their determination to continue promoting, especially within the Organization of American States (OAS), actions and initiatives that contribute to the restoration of democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the full force of the rule of law.
“3) Re-affirm their support for the National Assembly of Venezuela and reiterate that legal acts that require the authorization of the Assembly in accordance with its Constitution will only be recognized once they have been approved by the Assembly and, in this context, will consider new measures that contribute to full respect for its constitutional powers in economic and financial matters.
“4) Urge the specialized agencies, funds and programs of the United Nations system and the OAS to immediately implement a humanitarian assistance program to alleviate the situation of suffering and shortages endured by the people of Venezuela. In this regard, they reiterate their call to the Venezuelan government to allow the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid that mitigates the serious consequences of shortages, especially food and medicine.
“5) Express their deep concern at the growing exodus of Venezuelan citizens who have been forced to leave their country as a result of the crisis, and call on the relevant international organizations to immediately establish a program of support and capacity building for the countries of the region to meet the various needs arising from this exodus, including those related to security.
“6) Urge members of the international community to support the efforts and decisions of the countries of the region in order to contribute to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. In this sense, they call on those countries that have adopted measures to expand and strengthen them.
“7) Emphasize the importance of the international community’s support for the economic recovery of Venezuela, once the democratic and constitutional order have been restored.
Thankfully, President Jovenel Moïse did not put Haiti’s name to this disgusting Washington-led interference into Venezuelan internal affairs. We commend him for that. However, he also did not stand shoulder to shoulder with Cuba and Bolivia, as he should have, in denouncing the obscene exclusion of the Venezuelan president from the Lima summit. This is the very least Haiti’s leader could and should have done given the extraordinary amount of solidarity, oil, and aid that Venezuela has given Haiti over the past decade through the PetroCaribe deal, although much of it has been embezzled and wasted by corrupt officials who are part of or allied with Jovenel’s Haitian Bald Headed Party the PHTK.
This is also the ironic truth about which Jovenel Moïse could not utter a word.