The Union of South American States (UNASUR) appears to be on the bring of collapse as it struggles to stay afloat amid internal strife and financial difficulty, according to the Ecuadorian news site 4 Pelagatos.
According to the website, the organization–which was founded in 2008 and came to become largely synonymous with chavismo–has been “comatose” for the past several months, in part due to allegations that some of its members were involved in “sexual harassment, misuse of funds and abuse of power”.
On top of this, the website claims, UNASUR is facing bankruptcy that could come as early as this month. Citing a document signed by the UNASUR cabinet chief Yuri Chillan, the website claims that UNASUR will “cease payment” to debtors on July 30 if it does not come upon new money by then.
That same document allegedly shows that only Suriname, Bolivia and Guayana are still paying into UNASUR, and that among them they have only pumped $222,232 into the organization this year. The article goes on to state:
Not even Venezuela, which is supposedly the country that would most benefit from continuing operations, has [made its payment] for 2018.
Ecuadorian President to Evict UNASUR From Quito Offices
The report from 4 Pelagatos was followed today by news from Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno, who said during a press conference that he would evict UNASUR from its administrative headquarters in Quito.
In the press conference, Moreno said that the reason for the eviction was at least partially due to his personal stance on the organization. He said:
The UNASUR building was ceded to the countries that make it up. We are going to ask UNASUR to return the building so that we can put it to better use. We are not opposed to integration, but [UNASUR] has not worked due to [it not being] respectful to others.
As last as 2016, UNASUR was one of the last bastions of regional support for the Venezuelan regime. Its last secretary general, Ernesto Samper, often spoke out in favour of Maduro and against international pressure on the regime.
Since his term ended on January 1 2017, Samper’s seat as secretary general has remained empty, yet another sign of the organization’s anemia.
Moreno also told reporters that while UNASUR “was a good idea”, it has “not crystallized” due to “human and ideological flaws”. He added:
If [UNASUR] is not doing anything, then that building is surplus.
HRA Confirms AD’s Departure from the MUD
Yesterday, news broke that one of the largest and most important opposition political parties in the country, Accion Democratica, was withdrawing from the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) bloc. The news broke via El Nacional, which cited a party insider for the information.
The news sent shockwaves throughout the Venezuelan political fabric, since AD’s departure appeared to foreshadow the MUD’s imminent collapse.
Today, AD chief Henry Ramos Allup confirmed that the party was in fact distancing itself from the bloc, and provided some details for his decision.
Allup blamed “executive problems” inside the party for his decision to have AD withdraw from the bloc, saying that there were issue with an agreement that the bloc’s 22 organizations signed in July of last year. He also said that, despite rumours to the contrary, the split was amicable:
I want to tell you that in the meeting during which announced [our decision to leave] there was no confrontation. It was a very cordial and de mucha altura [literally, “really high”, as in “very calm and professional”].
Allup clarified that AD was not attempting to lay the foundation for a new opposition bloc with its departure, saying:
The step that we are taking does not mean that we are going to be creating a third, a fourth platform. There should only be one platform to act as a light to all of us, because as long as we multiply ourselves on other platforms, all that does is make the problem worse.
On his current views on the MUD, Allup said:
I want to establish this clearly: there are important organizations left inside the [MUD].
Questions/Comments? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org