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Venezuela faces ‘rocky future’ without dialogue, warns OAS chief

March 26th, 2014
04:26 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Venezuela faces a “rocky future” unless all parties can agree to dialogue, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“The only way in which the deep economic and political crisis that is happening can be solved is either they get along, and they try to settle things through a dialogue, or the possibility of having some foreign mediation,” Insulza said.

The stand-off between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition is heading for a perfect storm, with worrying signs that the worst protests in a decade could eventually lead to total economic collapse.

In an interview with Amanpour in Caracas earlier this month, President Maduro said that Venezuela did not need outside mediation.

“I think what we need is cooperation,” Maduro said. “We are not in despair. Venezuelans have a long history, so we are able to listen to each other, to talk to each other.”

But the two sides aren't talking to each other, and now more than three dozen people are dead – most recently a 28-year-old woman shot in the head after her bus was stopped at an opposition barricade.

The OAS itself has come under criticism for its inability to intercede in the crisis.

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez penned an op-ed in The New York Times on Tuesday, writing from the prison cell in which the government has locked him up.

“The OAS…has abstained from any real leadership on the current crisis of human rights and the looming specter of a failed state,” Lopez wrote. “To be silent is to be complicit in the downward spiral of Venezuela’s political system, economy and society, not to mention in the continued misery of millions.”

The organization “has the tools” to mediate, Insulza told Amanpour, but is powerless to do so unless its membership agrees.

“The problem is that the Organization of American States is exactly what its title calls – it’s an organization of states, represented by the governments.”

“If the governments are willing to act, they will act. If they are not willing to act, if there’s not a decision made by the governments to have some kind of action, then…no one can overcome that lack of agreement.”

It is an argument often put forward by international organizations like the OAS and United Nations, said Amanpour.

Another Venezuelan opposition leader, María Corina Machado, tried to use the OAS recently as a platform to push for a solution.

But most countries, allies of Venezuela, objected to her speaking. Panama tried to help her get around this by yielding its time to her, but a majority of the OAS members voted against formally discussing the issue.

“It’s weird,” Insulza admitted. “This is the only organization in the world that would let a country sit somebody the opposition of another country to speak on its behalf.”

But because the practice had been used before, Insulza said, he saw no reason to bar its use in this case.

“The only solution that exists, that is the dialogue among parties.”

“When there are 50 percent one position, another 50 percent on the other, [and] no rational center in between – the situation is certainly going to be rocky.”

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Venezuela
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. TruthAboutVenezuela

    It seems the OEA turned complies of the criminality in Venezuela, where the government has about stolen the patrimony of the country, accrued gigantic debt, and allow a rate of 1 murder every twenti one minutes in 2013 ( this year will be much worse, except the few deaths in the protests are (perhaps rightly so) taking center stage. I' d hate to have to be the judge or executioner of these criminals when their time comes. It will be ugly indeed.

    March 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • RLTJ's

      Have you ever asked why much opposition cant win elections? It's in their personalities.

      You don't remove a dictator to replace him with a slanderous person. Now if you have free elections there and you cannot win, go home and sleep.

      If you do not have free elections there, that's a real issue.

      March 27, 2014 at 6:00 am | Reply
    • rene barrientos

      very well said. you should change your name to LiesAboutVenezuela

      April 1, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  2. elfeto

    Ridiculous and uninformed article... The lady that was killed was shot by government mongers, as have most of the 3 dozen thathave died. The Government has publicly called these groups to put oit opossition protests by ANY means necessary. How can you dialogue with people who publicly call for your death?

    As far as the OAS, the Governments would not let Maria Corina Machado speak because Venezuela controls the majority of the votes through PetroCaribe, Maduro gives cheap oil to every Caribbean island in exchange for political power in the OAS and UN.

    March 27, 2014 at 5:41 am | Reply
  3. RLTJ's

    Emergency measures work. Sometimes they are actually welcome by people sick of turmoil.

    But they have to bring concrete changes. Because if not, if they'll still be singing the same tune after a time, that would be real boring.

    March 27, 2014 at 5:48 am | Reply
  4. ashok

    Venezuela has oil. No reason for it to be in such a mess. A more market friendly economic philosophy and getting over irrational animosity to the US would help.

    March 27, 2014 at 6:29 am | Reply
  5. sthsth

    2 تحذير
    قد تكون مراقب
    هل تستخدم امريكا و اسرائيل الانترنت بمواقعه ( يوتيوب, فيس بوك, تويتر,غرف الشات..) للتجسس!
    warning you may be watched
    do usa & israel use the internet ( youtube, facebook, twitter, chat rooms,ect...)to collect informations,,,,can we call that spying ?do they record&analyse everything on the internet?
    they ask for ur name,age,gender,occupation,place of work,ur mobile number.............ect, can they harm you using these informations?!
    قد تكون مراقب
    هل تستخدم امريكا و اسرائيل الانترنت بمواقعه ( يوتيوب, فيس بوك, تويتر,غرف الشات..) للتجسس!
    warning you may be watched
    do usa & israel use the internet ( youtube, facebook, twitter, chat rooms,ect...)to collect informations,,,,can we call that spying ?do they record&analyse everything on the internet?
    why they ask for ur name,age,gender,occupation,place of work,ur mobile number.............ect, can they use these informations in a way that may harm you?!
    تحذير قد تكون مراقب
    هل تستخدم امريكا و اسرائيل الانترنت بمواقعه ( يوتيوب, فيس بوك, تويتر,غرف الشات..) للتجسس!
    warning you may be watched
    do usa & israel use the internet ( youtube, facebook, twitter, chat rooms,ect...)to collect informations,,,,can we call that spying ?do they record&analyse everything on the internet?
    they ask for ur name,age,gender,occupation,place of work,ur mobile number.............ect, can they harm you using these informations?!

    March 27, 2014 at 7:37 am | Reply
  6. Tony

    Insulza is useless, and furthermore his character and demeanor are horrible, he will never manage to do anything useful with the OAS

    March 27, 2014 at 8:53 am | Reply
  7. Willa45

    Maduro's regime IS the biggest problem facing Venezuela. Maduro surrendered Venezuela's sovereignty to Cuba. It doesn't get any worse than that. Add to that the many human rights abuses, economic mismanagement, goverenment repression, widespread corruption etc., I don't see how any kind of "dialogue" can even begin to solve these problems. The only solution would be a legitimate regime change.

    March 28, 2014 at 9:49 am | Reply
  8. Liz

    He might not be in despair, but the people in Venezuela are. The are having to deal with 3 hour lines to buy milk, we are talking about a country that is rich in oil, and the minimal wage is 64 $......WHERE IS THE MONEY????? Curruption is one of the main issues.....

    March 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Franco

      They need to revolt and create a fair and just system of government, do not let others do it for you.

      March 29, 2014 at 7:24 am | Reply
  9. M.Rom

    Is an absurd what this rich country is going through, Corruption is so out of control, it would help if the USA goverment sent the names of all the Venezuelan Corrupt officials that have millions in their bank accounts in the USA. Not long ago I saw a house in Miami that is worth over 10 million dollars that belongs to a Venezuelan goverment official. They dont even hide it!
    You see them here in the most expesive restaurants, buying properties, cars, Yatchs...... and you know is stollen money as they dont even care to see the price. Easy in easy out..... what they did not work for does not hurt!

    March 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  10. Carmen R

    THEY WANT THE POWER AND DONT WANT TO LET IT GO! Is soooooo much oil money...... they dont care about human rights, the dont care about anything except their pockets. The have been stealing in every election..... its a fact! And will continue do do so as long as they are in power.

    March 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  11. Daniel Veran

    Let there be no doubt, Venezuela is headed for internal guerrilla warfare tactics if the current situation does not cause regime change.

    March 28, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  12. M lopez

    Amanpour, Great to see you take on Venezuela, great reporting, just a note. The OAS is an organization where only a few members believe in democracy. It will never be effective. Based in DC, it's only a boat load of diplomats living off their government. They should be audited for what they do. If not effective, then they should be closed. The US should not spend funds on this organization.

    March 29, 2014 at 6:40 am | Reply
  13. Franco

    Not too many bright people live in SA, look at the perpetual mess that Continent is in.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:22 am | Reply
  14. Willa45

    Dialogue is a good thing but why was Maria Machado not allowed to speak publicly at the OAS and why was her speech cut short? That is not freedom of speech! Why has the OAS refused to recognize Human Rights abuses by the Maduro regime? ...and here's what's most troubling...I keep hearing rumors (again, again and again) that OAS secretary, Inzulza is on Maduro's payroll! Just last week, Roy Chatherton (OAS Venezuelan ambassador) openly mocked Machado's supporters outside the OAS in Washington, DC. Dialogue is supposed to bring hearts and minds together, but how is that supposed to happen when you can't even trust the 'mediators'!

    March 29, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply
  15. eduardo

    Please check the video." palaima colectivos intentan secuestrar a una mujer " .
    Government thugs with the support of GNB (government guard) invading ,kidnaping and rape attempt of Middle Class home owners at a populated Maracaibo Suburb.

    Sos Venezuela.

    March 29, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  16. eduardo

    Maduro government thugs (unidentified criminal street gansters ) and GNB government troopers (guardia nacional) are invading private middle class home residences in PALAIMA ,MARACAIBO.VENEZUELA. And attemting to rape home residents.
    We have not heard of any Ukranian killings or rape attempt by Russian forces.The situation in Venezuela is far worse .

    Make your own conclusions.

    March 29, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
  17. eduardo

    March 29 ,05:30 eastern time.Another student was gun down in Maracaibo by police forces cracking down on students and civilian protesters .

    Check "" .

    Sos Venezuela.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  18. eduardo

    That is the dialog this Head of a Failed- State called Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela (President Nicolas Maduro) was talking about.Lol
    How many more deaths are needed before the International Comunity do something . This is a blatant case of Human Right Violations Al-Assad style and is not a question of Sovereignity.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  19. Justa minit

    Curious how Amanpour is always welcome by leaders who hate and war against the USA.

    March 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  20. Stuart Freeman

    Amanpour, bad reporting. It's nice that you entertain both sides, but in this case, it is black and white. Please, dig into this issue just as you do when discussing Syria. A fluff article, written by someone as well respected as you, is dangerous to the Venezuelan patriots who are placing their bodies where their mouths are.

    March 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  21. eduardo

    USA should do better if it stops financing the leftists gorila and corrupt representatives at OAS. (That is a fifth column for democracy in America.

    OAS= Organized Antidemocratic Stalinists

    March 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  22. Mauro

    Insulza have done nothing as leader of the OAS, he has failed to represent the meaning of the OAS, and letting the rest of the countries to kneal down to the oil power of Nicolas maduro and allow more of his nasty games to expand to other countries in Latin America. Our people and other countries will never advance on the right path while Inzulsa is on power. Shame in you Inzulsa!! Aren't you tired of the fanci restaurants while the rest of Latin America starves to death? Shame on you!!

    March 31, 2014 at 8:30 am | Reply
  23. Willa45

    I believe it was Sir Edmund Burke who once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

    Venezuela is going down in flames at the hands of a ruthless dictator and the minions who surround him. While Venezuela's people are being terrorized, beaten, raped, abducted, murdered on the streets and inside their homes,, no one else seems to care enough, Even with proof of these blatant Human Rights abuses, world Insitutions and neighboring govenrment leaders look away and the media is all but silent!! If nothing else, someone needs to expose Maduro. Someone needs to sound the alarm or at least shed a burning bright light on what's happening in Venezuela. The silence is deafening!!!

    Shame on all the governments and the media whose indifference (either by convenience, corruption or just plain cowardice) is no more enabling, than actually being complicit with Maduro and his brutal, bloody regime!!

    March 31, 2014 at 11:57 am | Reply
  24. rrmedia

    The reality is that the OEA is and has been for many years under the control of the Venezuelan petro dollars.

    There's no way to dialogue with the Venezuelan government, when their dialogue is actually killing, torturing and throwing anybody that thinks different in jail. There are huge human rights violations going on in Venezuela as we speak and Mr. Insulza knows it, he's a complete coward for not standing up for Venezuela.

    March 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  25. antidotos

    The OAS is a perverse organization. Christiane how can you publish this without asking Insulza first: "what kind of DIALOGUE does Mr. Insulza want in Venezuela when the most prominent opossition leader is in jail?" How would that dialogue happen when Maduro calls for dialogue on public broadcast asking those "coward fascists" (opposition) to sit down in front of him to have a nice chat about how to put all of them in jail? Do you really think the OAS is not biased and corrupted to the bone Mr Insulza? Why don't you ask Obama about the lack of leadership from the USA? Putin plays with the US and Europe, and even Maduro does! We want a bit more of journalism and not just voice out Isulza's EMPTY WORDS. Putin raises gaz prices because he want to crush Ukraine and Maduro controls the OAS by blackmailing all countries with a higher OIL

    April 1, 2014 at 4:06 am | Reply
    • rene barrientos

      another confused mind or cyber/cold warrior

      April 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  26. eduardo

    You have had this old headline on your Latin American news for quite few days now. Things have worsen in Venezuela .People all ages and gendres are been cracked down by a corrupted all mighty and ferocious antidemocratic government. Human Right Violations are been reported on daily bases by common citizens and independent sources.

    Please Update .

    Sos Venezuela

    April 2, 2014 at 1:19 am | Reply
  27. corque

    It is in your hands to inform worldwide how the current bad situation is in Venezuela end I agree with Eduardo that you have to update the changes are faster as you publish.
    The information is needed so we can never say "we didn't know" later on.

    SOS Venezuela need to be updated dayly

    April 2, 2014 at 6:46 am | Reply
  28. Victor Hugo Fuentes Rodriguez

    Existe una zona entre los estados o regions en Brazil llamados Macapa y Belen, cerca de Macapa esta la afluenza del rio afua que conecta con el rio cajari, de alli hasta la avenida gemaque 1045 Hay toda esa extencion de tierra en toda la costa, fue negociada por LULA da silva a el preso CHAVEZ, negociaciones? una seria la refineria de pernarbuco , comida podrida, etc....y aun asi quieren los derechos del mundial de soccer..

    imaginese el ESEQUIBO.....

    el tipo era honesto ,mi pueblo, el solo dejaba las sobras a sus ministrillos y ministrillas...hasta la Victoria siempre

    April 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  29. John Geheran

    Dialogue? Hardly. What Venezuela needs is a healthy dose of free market Capitalism.

    April 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  30. eduardo

    "John " Market Capitalism is a noble and a desirable goal for a new government but not to a Failed Criminal State wich had 24000 reported deaths just last year by streets gangs and God only knows how many since they took power 15/y ago.
    Now you have to add the Government violent represion and the killings of civilians while cracking down on opposition rallies . Thats why we are asking Maduro to step down and his pro-Cuban militias and lawless clonies to leave the country.

    How many more killings and Human Rights Violations do the International Community needs to take a stand.

    Seems as if all the World has eyes only for Ukraine .But let me tell you that a Failed South American State (Venezuela) with at less than 2500 miles from Washington DC is something you dont want ,specially if the have links with Iranians and Russians.

    Sos Venezuela.

    April 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Reply
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