Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Letter of the Day | Jamaica supports OAS’s violation of its own rules

Published:Monday | April 22, 2019 | 12:22 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaica’s Foreign minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, has explained Jamaica’s vote of acceptance of Juan Guaidó’s choice as ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) with the spurious argument that Guaidó’s choice was done “in his capacity as president of the National Assembly … the only legal governing body”.

This argument shows the senator’s misunderstanding of the OAS Charter and is no more than a mere attempt to cover up a violation of those rules in order to placate Washington in its desire to put a puppet, Guaidó’s representative, on the Permanent Council. A look at the OAS Charter explains why.

Under Article 80: “The government of each member state shall advise the secretary general of the appointment of its representative (to the Permanent Council).”

In other words, the 35 ambassadors serving on the Permanent Council are appointed by the 35 governments of each member state. In international law and practice, the test as to who is entitled to make the appointments is who is in charge of the country, who administers its affairs and who controls its borders.

In the words of Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the OAS, Sir Ronald Sanders, “Juan Guaidó’s shadow regime does not fit any of these categories.”

Guaidó’s nominee for ambassador is a neo-liberal named Gustavo Tarre, an outlier who lives in the US.

In a legally dubious attempt to legitimise Guaidó’s shadow regime, Jamaica has thrown in its lot with Washington, which has become desperate following the failure of an attempted coup against President Maduro.

As for Jamaica, it seems that it is the victim of its own policy of blind adherence to policies of its imperial neighbour to the north.

Victor A. Dixon

Attorney and writer