What Opportunities Will Full Diplomatic Representation Between the U.S. and Venezuela Present?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 27, 2009
Venezuelan Flags

On June 25, the United States and Venezuela announced an agreement to rescind the declarations of persona non grata issued in September 2008 and return U.S. Ambassador Patrick D. Duddy and Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Álvarez to their respective posts in Caracas and Washington.

U.S. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said, "This important step will help advance U.S. interests by improving bilateral communication and enhancing our outreach to the Venezuelan people."What opportunities will the resumption of full diplomatic representation between the United States and Venezuela present?

Comments

Comments

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
June 27, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

You tell me. I doubt that this was Secretary Clinton's idea!

rodolfo l.
|
California, USA
June 27, 2009

Rodolfo in California writes:

We've seen a tremendous response to the "World March for Peace & Nonviolence", presidents & ex president endorsed the WM; Yes, you can! Good Day!

sy
|
Wisconsin, USA
June 27, 2009

Sy in Wisconsin writes:

What are the long term benefits?

Antonio
|
Mexico
June 27, 2009

Antonio in Mexico writes:

If there is nothing else, merely having the possibility for peaceful and symbiotic relations seems to be enough to justify having full diplomatic representation.

That aside, it will also be useful for our business interest in Venezuela, as Caracas has been closing off possible business opportunities rapidly.

It will be convenient to have clear communication so that Caracas does not receive its information of the U.S. mostly from people with agendas who will find it useful to portray the U.S. in a negative light.

Full diplomatic representation is always useful, for it is the clearest channel of communication.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 28, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

So Hugo Chavez finally realized he was halucinating when he was convinced the U.S. was trying to remove him from power, eh?

Or maybe he sees his buddy in Tehran is in political trouble and is bailing on the notion that they can be legitimate parners in crime, or has realized he may face the same problems indiginously if he models his "revolution" like the mullahs...

So now he wants to make nice with the U.S.?

OK fine.

It's ok to be an idiot as long as you wise up eventually, right?

Right.

En boca cerrada, no entran moscas.

Guess he found the wisdom in this old saying...

Marta C.
|
Texas, USA
June 27, 2009

Marta C. in Texas writes:

Have you, Dept. of State, noticed that Honduras Democracy is in jeopardy with the FULL and OPEN support of Hugo Chavez?

Can someone help Honduras,the people? Please...! send John Dimitri Negroponte, he is an expert in Central America, especially Honduras.

Be prepare to give refuge due political exile to thousands!

Backlinks
|
Philippines
June 28, 2009

Richard in Philippines writes:

New investments pour in to Venezuela, investors and businesses will have more confident

palgye
|
South Korea
June 28, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Hi....

oil.....

i don`t know this topic. i only know Venezuela is oil-producing country. All powers be born will hang with are knowing from the petroleum.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 28, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Marta C.,

It looks for all intents as if the Honduran President overstepped his legal authority and has now been removed from office and flown into exile at the hands of the military who were acting under the legal authority and orders of the Honduran Supreme Court to protect the constitution.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8123126.stm

Which if this were to happen in the U.S., would be dealt with in similar way were the President to defy the Congress and the Supreme court to change our constitution to allow for additional terms of office to be tacked on to the 8 year limit of his term in office.

Garranteed impeachment for sure.

Safe to say though, no one is above the law in Honduras.

I guess the question now is will they hold another election, will the Supreme Court in the meantime transfer power according to constitutional provision, and will violence erupt as a result of the actions taken?

I personally think the EU spoke too soon in calling this a military "coup" when in fact it may be the most legal removal of a South American leader in history.

See what happens when folks take Hugo's bad advice, and try to be like him?

Susan
|
Florida, USA
June 28, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

I suppose "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" applies here. Better to have diplomatic ties with Venezuela than ignore them. Our policy/embargo with Cuba certainly has NOT worked, so I hope this approach is more successful. We will see soon enough.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 28, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"The action taken against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue."

- Sec. of State Clinton

source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8123434.stm

-----

My appologies to the EU, it was the OAS that called this a "coup".

It seems there is some debate as to who is respecting Honduran constitutional law in this case.

The Honduran Congress appointed its speaker Roberto Micheletti as acting head of state today. I infer by the word "acting" that at some point a new election will be held, and that he is "acting" for no longer than the term of the position he has assumed, which ends in Jan. next year.

If their Supreme court authorized the removal of the head of state for illegally trying to change the constitution outside the framework of legislation via popular referendum ( for his personal gain and to extend his political position), then they may have very well have had good constitutional grounds to take the action they did to remove him.

And if such action was with the intent to protect democracy as an institution in Honduras, they may also have been acting in the sprit of the OAS charter by doing so. Whether it represents technicaly a legal violation of it or not.

As such, I think it's premature to condem the removal of their president from power until all the facts are in.

They seems to be going about it in a fairly peaceful, legal, and constitutional manner.

If they booted him out of the country rather than hold him and put him on trial, that may have been with the intent to keep the peace.

There is no military takeover it seems, as has been the case in years past, the military is not acting on its own and I see this more as a manifestation of the workings of the checks and balances of "separation of powers" within their constitutional system in extremis, in order to protect democratic provisions of the constitution that the president was apparently willing to undermine.

If the president acted illegally, was told he was acting illegally by both congress and the court and then by executive order tried to remove those opposed to his will on the matter in an illegal manner, then what other option did the court have but to declare him unfit to serve and authorize his removal?

It's obvious the U.S. had nothing to do with this, but I'm not going to condemn it for the sake of appeasing those who wrongfully accuse us of "regime change" as Hugo Chavez has.

Maybe Sec. Clinton should have taken a cue from her boss on Iran and waited "to see how things play out."

That would have been my recomendation since we're apparently trying so hard politically not to interfere in other nation's internal affairs, or give the appearance of doing so.

Strange days indeed.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 29, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

( copied direct from OAS website )

OEA/Ser.G
CP/RES. 952 (1699/09)
26 June 2009
Original: Spanish

CP/RES. 952 (1699/09)

SITUATION IN HONDURAS

(Adopted at the meeting of June 26, 2009)

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

HAVING RECEIVED a request for assistance from the Government of the Republic of Honduras pursuant to Article 17 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter;

HAVING HEARD the presentation by the Permanent Representative of Honduras on the current situation in his country;

CONCERNED that recent events in the Republic of Honduras may jeopardize the democratic political institutional process and the legitimate exercise of power; and

AWARE of the commitment to constantly safeguard the stability of the democratic system of the member states within the framework of the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter,

RESOLVES:

1. To accept the request of the constitutional and democratic Government of Honduras to provide support to preserve and strengthen the democratic institutions of the country, within the framework of the rule of law.

2. To call upon all political and social actors involved to ensure that their actions respect the rule of law, in order to avoid a disruption of the constitutional order and of social peace that might impair peaceful coexistence among Hondurans.

3. To instruct the OAS Secretary General to establish a Special Commission to visit Honduras as a matter of urgency, with a view to analyzing the facts and contributing to broad national dialogue aimed at finding democratic solutions to the current situation, and to report back to the Permanent Council.

---end---

June 28, 2009

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,

CONSIDERING the grave situation taking place in the Republic of Honduras as a result of the coup d'etat against the government of President Jos頍anuel Zelaya Rosales, which has produced an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order, which the Permanent Council rejects and repudiates;

CONCERNED with the break-down of the constitutional order in the Republic of Honduras;

REAFIRMING the importance of strict adherence and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States;

REITERATING the principles established in the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter on the strengthening and preservation of the democratic institutional system in member states, and

RECALLING CP/RES. 952 (1699/09) of June 26, 2009, relative to the situation in Honduras,

RESOLVES:

1. To condemn vehemently the coup d'etat staged this morning against the constitutionally-established Government of Honduras, and the arbitrary detention and expulsion from the country of the constitutional president Jos頍anuel Zelaya Rosales, which has produced an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order.

2. To demand the immediate, safe and unconditional return of President Jos頍anuel Zelaya Rosales to his constitutional functions.

3. To declare that no government arising from this unconstitutional interruption will be recognized.

4. To instruct the Secretary General of the OAS to urgently attend the meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA), that will take place in Managua, Nicaragua, and in accordance with Article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to carry out all necessary consultations with the member states of the Organization.

5. To vehemently condemn all acts of violence and especially the reported arbitrary detention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Rodas, other Ministers of Government, as well as the Mayor of San Pedro Sula, and associated individuals, and to demand that their physical safety and security be respected and that they be released immediately.

6. To immediately convene a special session of the OAS General Assembly to take place at the headquarters of the Organization, on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, to take whatever decisions it considers appropriate, in accordance with the Charter of the Organization of American States, international law, and the provisions of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

7. To instruct the Secretary General to transmit the resolution to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

----end---

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 29, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

The Honduran Congress said it had voted to remove the sitting president because of his "repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions".

Their supreme court, like our own, interprets the constitution. Their congress has the right to remove anyone violating it from office, just as our congress does.

Is the OAS condeming the institutions of democracy in this case without all the facts?

The fellow just sworn in is constitutionmally second in line to the presidency, he'll serve the remainder of the term ending in Jan., elections will be held in Nov as planned...these facts came in since I wrote my last post less than an hour ago, so obviously the OAS does not have all the facts.

As for the Foreign minister and mayor and others, they may be in Costa Rica by this point, rather than in jail as assumed by the OAS statement.

Then we have Hugo threatening war with Honduras to top it all off.

I guess it's a good thing we have an ambassador going to Venezuala ASAP, his first task being to get Hugo to "chill out" and take his forces off alert. Such threats being unproductive and a violation of the OAS charter in its own right.

I'd say Ian Kelly's or PJ Crowley's going to have a very interesting day at the spokesman's podium tommorrow on these issues.

Joe
|
Texas, USA
June 29, 2009

Joe in Texas writes:

The role that Chavez is playing in the political crisis in Honduras is an example of the difficulty we have in engaging him maintaining a mature dialog with Venezuela. Since I do not see a blog on Honduras, I would like to give my opinion on a possible solution to the Honduran crisis.

The Presidents of Central American and Mexico will meet tomorrow in Managua. There is no change that they will recommend anything except the restitution of Mel Zelaya, something that is no longer acceptable in Honduras.

Right in Managua, there is a Central American Court of Justice. As I understand their mandate, it is intended to deal with crises of this type. The Honduran representative to the Court is a personal friend, and I trust him to find a solution to the crisis that advances the cause of Democracy.

Karen
|
Oregon, USA
June 29, 2009

Karen in Oregon writes:

When Kofi Annan left office, in his farewell speech he said the United Nations is now irrelevant. The war in Iraq was a demonstration that the United Nations does not have the capacity to end or prevent wars. This has led to many nations jockeying for power. Hugo Chavez is one of the world's leaders that is doing a power grab.

Cuba and Venezuela have recently brought China and Russia into the Caribbean. China has drilling rights to Cuba's offshore oil reserves. The BRIC nations recently met in Russia to discuss how they will handle future monetary issues, including their reserves of U.S. dollars. Venezuela would like to be a member of BRIC, while the United States has been denied membership.

Dimplomatic relations between nations is a game that is played by governments to gain power and prestige. Denying a government an embassy is seen as a powerplay. We lose power by doing so. The loss of U.S. power from our occupation of Iraq has enabled other nations to "count coup" on our government. They won't attack us, but they see us as becoming more and more a third world nation.

Barack Obama has reached out to nations, but has been recently criticized by Dick Cheney for weakening the United States. George Bush, while I am not in agreement with his policy, set up a situation where he placed a great deal of pressure on other nations to go along with his policies. When he left office, he left a power vacuum, and Barack Obama's policies are not strong enough to keep the pressure on the other nations who are grabbing for power.

The problem with this is, leaders like Hugo Chavez see a remarkable, once in a lifetime opportunity to gain power. They are attempting to create an international structure that places them in the highest positions, but it is being done at the expense of their people, not for the highest good for all people. He recently took away his people's consitutional rights.

The solution is simple, and one only the United States can deal with. It is to institute a plan for an international government based on fair and equitable practices. I have been working to introduce "The World Peace Plan" that will allow the United States to market our rights to all the nations of the world, and to regain our power and prestige. We will never again be the superpower we were, but neither will be be a third world country. The World Peace Plan has the capacity to create a global renaissance.

There is not need to jockey for power. Grabbing for power in these times results in loss of power. By allowing other nations to have their power, we can keep ours.

For more information about The World Peace Plan, please go to our webpage.

Already, people in 18 countries support the plan, including Arab nations. Every day, people all over the world are exposed to the plan.

Juan
|
Honduras
June 29, 2009

Juan in Honduras writes:

90% of the people in Honduras is glad and joyful that Manuel Zelaya is no longer the president of our country.. Why you people criticize venezuela, bolivia, and ecuador and now that we are against this regimen of socialism,, how come you dont support us? please you have to think that chaves is agains the USA,, and all he wants is more countries under his regimen,, NO BODY here wants zelaya back,, only the government people wants him.. chech this site where Manuel Zelaya admits to have won the elections with fraud..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saj_fyfzw34 is this what you support ? fraud?

Ole
|
New York, USA
June 29, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

@ Karen, i like your ideas and initiative. the only slight difference is, I DO support Bush policies (save for China part, don't think we should've opened to them so much). as for Venezuela, restoring full diplomatic ties while Chavez threatens to close opposition TV and forces referendum on his lifetime presidency, or at least candidacy, down his people's throats, doesn't seem to be a good idea, and I don't think it'll bring us, or for that matter Venezuelans proper, any benefits. I rate this step a mistake, though admittedly, there are other, more urgent crises currently to take care of, most notably Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan situation

matthew
|
California, USA
June 30, 2009

Matthew in California writes:

It is now clear that the State Department knew about the impending military coup plans in Honduras before they happened. I am outraged that our Government did nothing to try to stop this illegal action before it occured (besides private conversations with the coup plotters). A simple action would have been to warn the Honduras authorities privately. Certainly, we would hope that our friends would warn us if there was a plan to overthrow our elected Government. Another strategy could have been to threaten to make the plans public if they pledged to go ahead with it. All this could have been averted. Seems clear as day to me that the Obama Administration did not care very much about this issue, and in fact, many in the State Department probably argued that we could use a "friendlier" President down there.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 29, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Juan in Honduras,

Thanks for your comments. Welcome it is to see someone weigh in on what's happening in his own country.

It's why this blog exists, and I wish there were more that would do so.

I think the best way we can support you is to be fair-minded about it, and I think my comments previously have reflected this.

If there's a debate, it's because folks are trying to figure out what's real and what's not.

Obviously there are some protesters that would like to see him back, but I doubt that reflects majority opinion.

To what extent Hugo is involved, or...wishes to become involved, I won't speculate.

I do take note of patterns of behavior though.

And as such, I tend to criticize the man, not the nation.

I think that's the fair way to be about it.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 29, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

As the US administration has joined Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro in backing a Leftist president in Honduras, this could be an opportunity for the U.S. State Department to join the Axis of Evil and make peace with North Korea on their terms.

All we need do is remove the colors white and blue from our flag and we will be accepted as one of the gang.

According to reports in Honduras, the Supreme Court found president Zalaya's plan to call for a constitutional vote to be unconstitutional because only the Legislature can call for that vote, so they ordered the military not to distribute ballots which had been printed outside of Honduras.

The military commander refused president Zalaya's order to distribute the foreign-printed ballots so the president fired him, the Supreme Court reinstated him and the president was arrested, probably on court order.

The good news is this is proof that a system of checks and balances works. The bad news is that we are not supporting the constitution, the court, and the people of Honduras.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 29, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Congratulations, President Micheletti.

Roberto Micheletti was sworn in as provisional president to the applause of members of Congress, who chanted, "Honduras! Honduras!" Outside the building, supporters of ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya protested, but their numbers were limited, and the streets remained mostly peaceful.

Micheletti, the head of Congress, became president after lawmakers voted by a show of hands to strip Zelaya of his powers, with a resolution stating that Zelaya "provoked confrontations and divisions," within the country. A letter of resignation purported to be from Zelaya was read to members before the vote.

Heidi
|
California, USA
June 29, 2009

Heidi in California writes:

I think we have to realize that being a "Leftist" in Latin America is not always a terrible thing. There are moderate "Leftists" like the President in Brazil. While I may not agree with their values and beliefs, it is important that we get along. The U.S. can't dictate what countries of the world should be doing. We have many problems of our own and we need to deal with our own first.

While I think our government has a great constitution, we can't shove our ideas down other people's throat. We have to be tolerant of their beliefs.

Restoring our Diplomats in Venezuela is hopefully going to better our relationship with Venezuela. Hugo Chavez can be a little nutty, but he is the one making the decisions in Venezuela. We have to show the Venezuela government that we are open to differences and that we can work together. Once we get their trust and respect, perhaps they will be open to hear the U.S. and maybe form new policies that will benefit the people of Venezuela and improve U.S. and Venezula relations.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
June 30, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

30 June 09

I believe the U.S. Embassy is a smart choice for allowing diplomatic channels to open. What gives me bad vibes about Mr. Chavez is he appears to be double faced. He dictates to his people, not allowing for freedom, then tries to use bully tactics. Be very careful with this leader. He reminds me of the the garden of eden, "the two headed snake." He will tell you one thing and do another!

Godbless and let's hope for Freedom in Venezuela!

Famous Quote from Mr. Patrick Henry "Give me Liberty or Give me death"!!!

Olimar
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 30, 2009

Olimar in Washington DC writes:

The channels for open dialogue have been reopened, which means hopefully the diplomatic relationship between the United Stated and Venezuela wil become better through the years.

I do think the relationship we have today with Venezuela is the product of misunderstandings, caused by the lack of proper channels of communications and the diplomatic attitude to deal with a person like Chavez.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
June 30, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Do we have any choice in reality? South America is a direct National Security situation as well as a fiscal one.

This does not answer the question, but:

Part of our problem they say is in alienation of non-democratic countries then proposed negations for self-interest, which constantly lead to diplomatic irregularities as a rule; but not in the Venezuela case at all.

Chavez created the rift from his onset, presenting the United States as the Evil Empire to his people, which was not true in the past and certainly not now. He deliberately created the fallacies, which he perpetrated continuously through the years to gain the support of Russia and indirectly provide for his own security from within.

The wealthy in Venezuela are still the wealthy and he has altered very little in that regard, he needs their support no differently, than Hitler did. In fact, by the use of Nationalization of outside interest for his social programs, he has elevated them, as Hitler did.

When people have little Socialism, or guises of it, seem better to the hoi polloi and as long as the right group of wealthy nationalist are satisfied, change seldom takes place. Thus, Venezuela presents a problem for democratic growth and as such, diplomacy with the US will have to be based on trade I presume.

What does Venezuela have to gain other than an open market? Russia and China have taken them under there mighty wing. From Entertainment to proposed new Military Base's, it seems Venzuela has everyones interest and investments.

If the concept is to get our foot in the door, then there is no choice.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
June 30, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

The new developments in Honduras show that other than Trade, mutual interest is stability:

Venezuelan Foreign Minister: Latin America has to Guarantee the Defeat of the Coup in Honduras
June 28th 2009

Venezuelan foreign minister, Nicolá³ Maduro Moros, said Sunday, from Miraflores Presidential Palace, that Latin America must guarantee the defeat of the coup d'etat against the President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, and try those responsible.

Venezuelan, Cuban, and Nicaraguan Ambassadors to Honduras Kidnapped
June 28th 2009

Military personnel kidnapped the ambassadors of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in Honduras, along with the Honduran Foreign Relations Minister Patricia Rodas, according to Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton

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