How Trump’s Budget Cuts Can End Up Harming Venezuelan Democracy

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Mar 16, 2017, 3:01 pm
Trump’s Budget Cuts
The cut would reportedly be part of a 37-percent budget reduction to the State Department. Meanwhile, Trump has asked Congress to increase military spending by $54 billion. (El Universo)

EspañolPresident Donald Trump has proposed that US contributions to international organizations be reduced, and that includes the Organization of American States leading regional efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela.

This could cause the institution to close down, as it would lose 50 percent of its US contributions.

The cut would reportedly be part of a 37-percent budget reduction to the State Department. Meanwhile, Trump has asked Congress to increase military spending by $54 billion.

Many consider the OAS the best option to solving Venezuela’s crisis, as Secretary General Luis Almagro took the initiative to ask Latin American countries to implement the organization’s Democratic Charter against Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro’s  authoritarian administration.


Early this week, Almagro asked member countries of the OAS to give Maduro a 30-day ultimatum to hold a general election as well as to release political prisoners. If he does not comply, OAS member countries will suspend Venezuela from the organization.

The OAS is reportedly already operating with a minimum budget after a 12-percent cut last year, and so Trump’s budget plan would all but incapacitate the organization.

Currently, the United States contributes US $50 million a year to the OAS budget, followed by Brazil with $11 million and Canada with US $9 million. However, the United States’ monthly installments are low compared to the almost US $3 billion in annual contributions from peacekeepers as well as UN agencies.

“It is true that the OAS has its own contradictions,” wrote Andrés Oppenheimer in an op-ed for El Nuevo Herald. “I find it hard to understand, for example, why Almagro proposes the suspension of Venezuela from the organization and at the same time asks for the readmission of Cuba, a dictatorship that has not allowed free elections in almost six decades. But, beyond its contradictions, under Almagro, the OAS has become a very positive political actor for the defense of democracy on the continent.”

Source: El Nuevo Herald 

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

Wife of Venezuelan Political Prisoner Barred Entry to Ecuador over “Activism”

By: Karina Martín - Mar 16, 2017, 2:16 pm
Lilian Tintori was denied entry to Ecuador because of the government's allegations that she was planning political activism (

Español On Wednesday, March 15, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Communication explained why Lilian Tintori was denied entry to the Andean nation. According to a press conference, Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López, did not have the necessary documentation to participate in political activities in Ecuador and for that reason was not allowed access to the country. Read More: Guillermo Lasso Denounces Lilian Tintori's Expulsion from Ecuador Read More: Lilian Tintori: The Opposition Have Won Venezuela's Election "The activities of political proselytism are prohibited with a tourist visa," said the vice minister of the Interior, Diego Fuentes. "I saw her recent video, but unfortunately, her rationale for entering Ecuador does not correspond to her intentions, because her passport does not give her authorization to do activism or political proselytism," said the governor of Ecuador's Guayas province, Luis Monge. Lilian Tintori, meanwhile, expressed her discomfort at the refusal of her entry to Ecuador, and urged Ecuadorians to end the "dictatorship" of current president Rafael Correa. The Venezuelan activist called upon the Ecuadorian people to, "fight, raise your voice, as on April 2 you have the opportunity to decide your future, to end with this oppressive system." "I do not want Ecuador to become another Venezuela, I do not want Ecuador to endure what the Venezuelan people are living," Tintori said. "Rafael Correa acts and gives orders like the [Venezuelan president] Nicolás Maduro, he maintains the socialism of the 21st century, which for me is the dictatorship of the 21st century," continued Tintori from Miami International Airport, where she was obligated to return after being denied entry at Guayaquil International Airport. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Opposition presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso released a video in which he expressed solidarity with Tintori, who has become one of the most visible critics of the Maduro regime. Currently, Lasso is locked in an intense battle with former vice president Lenin Moreno, who he forced into a second round presidential election when neither candidate won a simple majority, nor 40% of the votes, with a 10% margin of victory. Polls show a tight race: a recent Cedatos poll gives Lasso a 4 point advantage, while another poll by Diagnostico gives Moreno a 9 point lead. Sources: La Republica, El Nacional, El Universal

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