Friday, January 10, 2014

Puerto Rico: Venezuela's Maduro Advocates Independence for US Territory, Membership in CELAC

According to The Latin American Tribune, President Nicolás Maduro used his participation in the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution to announce details of Venezuela’s delegation to the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to be held in Havana effective January 25.

CELAC was a brain-child of the late President Hugo Chávez and Cuban President Fidel Castro to serve as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), where Cuba is not represented because it doesn’t fulfill the democratic credentials.

CELAC has 33 member countries, but does not include the US and Canada. In addition, it does not include any territories or island territories of France, the United Kingdom, Holland, Denmark or the US.

In a break with that tradition, Maduro announced that they would propose incorporating Puerto Rico, while at the same time calling for Puerto Rican independence.

COMMENT: Rather than poking shots at Washington indirectly, President Maduro should communicate directly with the Obama Administration, although if he did so he would very likely be accused of meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

Unfortunately, Maduro has further complicated his meddling into US internal affairs by directing his foreign minister, Elias Jaua, to prepare a draft proposal by the Venezuelan delegation that Puerto Rico be incorporated CELAC, which no doubt will produce an angered response from Washington.