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The legal issues arising from the Government of Venezuela’s (GOV) withdrawal from the Organization of American States (OAS) are complex and unprecedented. The political context, however, is strikingly familiar since the promotion of democracy has been arguably the most debated issue in international politics during the last quarter-century. On the other hand, this very typical political conflict is also premised on a sui generis legal debate, for the political conflict in the eyes of many is, at root, over the fundamental issue of Venezuela’s internal governance and whether or not democracy can be an enforceable international legal obligation. Sovereignty and non-intervention, based on a history of European and U.S. interference in the internal affairs of Latin American states, raise issues of fundamental concern freighted by history and memory. Venezuela’s potential non-compliance with the provisions of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (Democratic Charter), a resolution adopted on September 11, 2001, by the General Assembly of the OAS, and the OAS response was an invitation to crises.



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