The delegations of all the countries of the Americas that make up the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) met April 9 in extraordinary session in Washington to approve, with 18 votes in favor, 9 against and 6 abstentions, the recognition of Gustavo Tarre as the legitimate representative of Venezuela to OAS. Tarre had been appointed to office last January 22 by the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. Tarre thereby replaces Jhon Rafael Guerra Sansonetti, current ambassador of the government of Nicolás Maduro to the regional organization.
The resolution recognizes Gustavo Tarre as the designated permanent representative until new elections are held and a democratically elected government is formed. The permanent missions to Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Paraguay and Peru were the main proponents of the measure. The Colombian delegate, Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado, explained that “Nicolás Maduro’s second term is not legitimate. Therefore, Guerra Sansonetti’s mandate is not legitimate either.” Contrastingly, the representative of Mexico, Jorge Lomónaco, said that a situation like the one in Venezuela today “cannot be resolved through a vote, but must be analyzed in depth”.
The OAS decision was warmly met by Juan Guaidó, who said “today we have achieved the definitive end of the usurpation of our seat at the OAS”. On the other hand, Nicolás Maduro’s administration published a statement saying that the organization took “one of the saddest decisions in its history” and underlined its determination to leave the OAS April 27, the date on which Maduro’s request for this two years ago will take effect.