Opinion May 3, 2017 | 1:18 pm

Dominican Republic and Petrocaribe need to stop playing at being Switzerland

Jhon Marcos Peña

Venezuela has reached a critical point in its economic and political crisis, with an inflation index of more than 400%, its capital city, Caracas, declared the most violent city on the continent and a failed coup by the Supreme Court of Justice to the democratically elected National Assembly.

The main allies of Venezuela, which are the member countries of the PETROCARIBE agreement, have already begun to withdraw and cease to be associated with the decadent regime, however the nation with the largest economy growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dominican Republic, still support the actions of the regime. Thanks to the thousands of barrels of oil daily that the DR receives from Venezuela the Dominican government, playing to be the Switzerland of America, elected to refrain in every resolution of the Organization of American States to condemn the nonsense actions of the government of Nicolas Maduro.

The Dominican people have spoken in favor of their contra-parts in Venezuela who are marching in the streets for weeks and have backed their demands for free, universal and secret general elections, however the government of the Dominican President Danilo Medina, still advocates a dialogue that seems dead and with no signs that any of the parties will resume it.

Following the pressure of member states such as Mexico, Panama or Canada, the Permanent Council of the OAS, in favor of holding an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the application of the Interamerican Democratic Charter to Venezuela, received the abstention or votes against of almost all members of PETROCARIBE, including two countries with an enormous influence on Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

In an attempt to turn a diplomatic defeat into a victory of populism, Maduro complied with his threats and formally communicated his desire to remove the South American nation from the oldest regional organization in the world. The governments of Cuba, which remains removed from the organization since its suspension in 1962, although readmitted in 2009, and Bolivia, which maintains a blind alliance with the Bolivarian Revolution led by the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, celebrated the action of Maduro, while Dominican Republic and the other countries of the Caribbean remained silent, in an action that can be interpreted by the Venezuelan government as international support.

Yesterday the Venezuelan President in an action that was described by Speaker of the National Assembly Julio Borges as “another attempt of coup” and a “scam to democracy and the Venezuelan people”, called the formation of a Constituent Assembly, although the organism Is contemplated in article 347 of the Venezuelan Constitution, Maduro violates the constitution by proposing that will be led by ministers of his government and half of the constituents elected by what he calls “communes,” the basis of his party’s organization.

The governments of America have not yet expressed their views on this action, but apparently have allowed the fact that the still incomplete withdrawal of Venezuela from the OAS becomes a blank check for Maduro’s government to violate its own Constitution and human rights.

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