The Challenges of Venezuela in the Non-Aligned Movement

The XVIIth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit will be held in Isla de Margarita, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela, between 13th and 18th September.  At the summit, Venezuela be handed over the presidency of the bloc by the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the commitment of joining endevours to consolidate a multipolar, multicentric world respectful of self-determination.

The NAM appointment in Venezuela will open  a brand-new chapter in the bolivarian agenda. This will take place in a very special time for Venezuela, in which there are very active fronts of external siege.  This opportunity will be quite appropriate to make the venezuelan stance clear in order to face isolation attempts in the international community.

With its over 120 member states, the NAM is the second largest political forum, the first being the UN.

Disarm the war waged from the external front

The rise of Venezuela to the NAM leadership demands various tasks of great significance that take into account the venezuelan reality and its future, but there are in fact events and situations that transcend that sphere and pose an impact on the regional level and beyond our continent.

These following tasks demand the need for an effective political implementation of huge proportions.

1. One of the venezuelan premises at the NAM presidency will undoubtedly strenghthen the bolivarian denunciation stand of the repeated and progressive siege that is implemented against Venezuela.  Being a reference for the region and the main enemy to overthrow by the US, the Bolivarian Revolution is pivotal in the insurgental processes in this part of the world and thus the rhetoric and actions sponsored by the US appear to confidently cross the threshold  of frontal siege.

There is an undeclared financial blockade on Venezuela. A form of economic    strangulation is being launched against us, breaching the financial possibilities  that our country could contract, besides the financial harmful actions for the  nation carried out by Citibank.  The challenge for Venezuela in the economic front  lies in its ability to warn the world about new forms of blockade and economic  suffocation, developed unilaterally and carried out by the de facto powers of the  global financial area.

The venezuelan issue becomes then a matter of planetary concern.  There is no  need for the US to openly declare a target, or to have to deal with the political  cost of imposing sanctions to simply suffocate its opponent.  Anyone could be the  target tomorrow.  A cunning and unilateral decree weighs on Venezuela, that of  being an “unusual and extraordinary threat” and measures in that framework are  already in force.

2. Another challenge for Venezuela, while leading the NAM, will be to use that position to make contributions that allow to restrain the regressionist agenda for Latin America, an agenda that intends to pave the way in the framework of strategic policies from the US Department of State and that is one of the siege flanks against the Bolivarian Revolution.

We must remember that Wikileaks disclosures of Hillary Clinton's emails revealed  the associations orchestrated by the White House to seek regional allies with an  anti-Chavez rhetoric.  Those guidelines have materialized at the exact time of  Macri's election in Argentina and in the parlamentary coup and the de facto rise of  Temer in Brazil, and on the other hand the rise in Peru of an openly anti-Chavez  regional spokesman, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

The new situation in South America has even threatened Mercosur, when certain  actors from that organisation started delegitimizing the Venezuelan presidency  itself. The shockwave of regional dismemberment has spread itself to the UNASUR  and that natural ground support has been weakened.

3. The OAS (Organisation of American States) has been a specific flank of permanent attack against chavism. The panamerican institution (clearly tutored from the US) has been the most openly interventionist spokemanship against bolivarianism. This fact is hardly news at all in the 17 years of chavism, and although the bolivarian foreing policy has recently succeded in deactivating the wrongdoings sponsored from that forum, it is also a fact that the OAS institution is still a threat and a potential danger to Venezuela's stability.

Venezuela must warn the world of the potential danger of hijacked regional                bodies. There are harmful precedents: the Arab League, which is a regional equivalent to the OAS in the Middle East, facilitated and cleared the way to the political conditions that preceded the siege against Syria, thus legitimating the action of imperial powers that decided to destroy that country, causing regional misfortune and destabilization as a result.

It all started by decreeing the “illegitimacy” of Al-Assad and by declaring Syria an “outlaw country”, while promoting the isolation and breakdown of that nation through war-mongering and interventionism.

4. The Africa-South America political axis (ASA) suffered a major setback after the passing away of Comandante Chavez and the murder of Muammar Gadaffi, after the destruction of Libia. As a political and economic forum at an early stage, it has now been pushed into political ostracism, and in it lies an enormous potential of partnerships that must necessarily be relaunched. The current situation of the ASA axis must be reversed, and to do so, a high sense of political identification and of the relevance of the historical importance of that strategic partnership between the countries of the southern part of the planet, is required.

5. One of the challenges of the leadership of Venezuela while in charge of the NAM, lies in building consensus to attain viability for partnerships and pragmatic actions by the developing countries that depend on raw material exports, since the logic imposed by speculative markets and the de facto powers of the potencies has implemented an articulate policy of pauperization of the international prices of raw materials, curbing the development of the poorest countries that are still subject to centre-periphery relationships.  This task must be thought beyond oil, although oil is a global reference in the raw materials price trend.  Oil and fossil fuels have their space of definition within the OPEC and with countries outside it. Venezuela has sponsored the necessary agreements that must be reached in those spaces and negotiations have paved the way towards an appropriate policy aimed to the rescue of prices.  However, and as it is customary in the NAM, the struggle against poverty and inequality (a topic never absent from this forum) has to be dealt with through a structural review of the world market of raw materials, ways of economic development planning and reviews of the role of poor countries in that synergy. 

The ways of pauperization of prices and confinement of countries to the looting feast of raw materials at artificially low prices, undermine ways of economic stability in countries or regions that suffer an increasing numbre of multiple threats and where unstability situations emerge.  That is why the economic issue is not only associated to variables, but to security matters and governance in countries vulnerable to conflict, as well.  

Venezuela knows a great deal on this matter. The venezuelan experience itself    shows how a change in the regional situation is attempted, and how the security and stability of a country is compromised at the expense of an induced raw material price manipulation, of which, not only Venezuela, but the regional Petrocaribe -Alba axis depends on.

6. A core task conceived within the NAM is to keep war and its active fronts at bay. The world is approaching ever so fast a proliferation of armed conflicts of such huge proportions that suggest that a third world war is afoot, dragging entire regions and countries into itwith an outcome of thousands of direct and indirect victims of the conflicts as a result.

Instances such as the UN and its Security Council are overwhelmedby the magnitude of events, and there are no credible institutionnor actors left to reverse the situation. Venezuela itself is subject to an unconventional war and warmongering threatens at our doorstep.  And in doing so, it also threatens a whole region that is a world reference for peace.  It is Venezuela's duty to dismantle the double standards in international politics and to restore some dignity in the concert of nations.  Credible and consistent efforts are needed to consolidate peace as a destiny.

The Venezuelan opportunity

To lead the NAM is essentially a golden opportunity for Venezuela, because because from within that institution it will be feasible to state the position of the Bolivarian Revolution on major global issues: economy, stability, security, fighting social scourges  and how to overcome together the threats posed.  This opportunity is not to be dismissed, so that Venezuela can stand as a bastion of dignity before the world.

But for dignity to become politically viable, it cannot be based merely on words.  Actions count.  Therefore, circumstances urgently demand that mechanisms of integration, fruit of the framework of recent historical processes, be relaunched.

But even more important, it is a favourable opportunity to relaunch a bold and consistent agenda of relationships in other regional hubs.  Venezuela must move towards what could become strong alliances.

Relevance, pragmatism and audacity should be matters that facilitate a new twist to the bolivarian foreign policy in times when major national issues are defined on the external front.

Another significant element about the NAM is to rise above its role, reduced to being a diplomatic chitchat instance, without having a dramatic character in the evolution of nations. 

As an instance, the NAM lacks specific methodologies to give it effectiveness.  The NAM is a huge forum of countries that could become a real alternative to the weakness of present-day international institutions, most of which have been confined to ineffectiveness.

In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to “take the bull by the horns” and Venezuela must thereforefully assume its role and responsibility to guide, give methodology, cohesionand to indeed empower this body created in times of great global turbulences, times so similar to those nowadays.

The validity of the NAM is a fact marked by the pulse of our times.

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