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  • The OAS Secretary General speaking to the press at a forum on organized crime in Miami, Florida, in which he said the Venezuelan government is ruled by the narco. October 23, 2018

    The OAS Secretary General speaking to the press at a forum on organized crime in Miami, Florida, in which he said the Venezuelan government is ruled by the narco. October 23, 2018 | Photo: EFE

Published 15 December 2018

Uruguay's Broad Front considered that Luis Almagro's interventionist attitude against Venezuela is at the service of the U.S.

Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), has been unanimously expelled from his party in Uruguay due his interventionist comments and attitudes against the Venezuelan government and others in Latin America.

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The Court of Political Behaviour (TCP) of the ruling Broad Front of Uruguay (FA) decided to expel Almagro on Saturday for his constant comments as head of the OAS.

During a visit to the Colombian border with Venezuela, Almagro declared that “no option should be discarded,” regarding a “military intervention to topple Nicolas Maduro’s regime,” a comment that the TCP described as “the most serious violation to the principles that we could imagine.”

The FA, a coalition of progressive and leftist parties that took Jose Mujica to the presidency in 2010, supported Almagro’s candidacy “with a profile completely opposite to what he’s now doing at the OAS.”

“One thing is having a critical position about the situation in Venezuela or other countries in Latin America, and another very different one is to actively criticize one of the countries from a position that should generate consensus in the Americas, besides having a perspective absolutely in line with that of the United States, even showing sympathy for an eventual invasion,” said Jose Carlos Mahia, FA’s vice-president.

Mahia regretted the “discrediting and vicious style” that Almagro has shown through 2018, saying the secretary general perhaps “thought in private what he’s now doing.”

After the TCP announced the voting session, Almagro sent a letter to the FA denouncing he didn’t have the right to a fair process and explained he has “irreconcilable differences” with the party regarding “human rights and democracy.”

Almagro served as foreign minister during Mujica’s presidency (2010-2015) and was a member of the Movement of Popular Participation (MPP), a socialist party founded by former guerrilla fighters of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement (MLN-T).

Last week, Almagro announced he has the support of the U.S. and Colombia for a second period as head of the OAS.

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Hours after Almagro’s announcement the future foreign minister of Brazil, Ernesto Araujo, said the government of Jair Bolsonaro will support his re-election, citing his “firmness and courage” when “defending democracy and combating authoritarianism in the region.”

Distancing from the previous secretaries’ more neutral position, in June 2018 he filed a complaint against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity.

In May, the Venezuelan government confirmed it would renounce its membership from the OAS citing “its original condition as a colonial body, at the service of Washington’s ambition for dominance in our region.”

During the same session the FA also suspended Raul Sendic and Leonardo de Leon for 17 months, until the end of the electoral process in May 2020, because of a corruption scandal.

Sendic, vice-president of Uruguay between 2015 and 2017, was accused of embezzlement and abuse of authority and had to resign amid other scandals. He will be banned from leading his sector’s Senate group.

De Leon was accused of misusing funds and won’t be able to run for Senate in next elections.

“Sanctions are never something to be happy about,” said Javier Miranda, president of the FA, “but decisions must be taken and the FA took them.”

Some members of the FA considered that sanctioning Sendic gave elements for the right in Uruguay and was a detrimental decision for the leftist front.

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