Panama disavows OAS ambassador's statements on Venezuela
According to an official communiqué, Guillermo Cochez's opinion is "far from the stance of the national government (of Panama.)" The document explained that Panama "categorically rejects the unconsulted statements (by Cochez)." The ambassadors of Panama and Venezuela clashed on Wednesday at the Organization of American States
Panama's Foreign Minister Rómulo Roux on Wednesday disavowed the actions of his country's ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Guillermo Cochez, who questioned the fact that the body has kept quiet via-à-vis a possible violation of the Constitution in Venezuela.
"Statement by Amb (Ambassador, William) Cochez in OAS today (Wednesday) was not authorized," Roux wrote in his Twitter account. The Panamanian Foreign Ministry confirmed this message to AFP.
Subsequently, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement rejecting Cochez's stance.
"The Government of Panama rejects categorically the unconsulted statements provided by the Ambassador of Panama to the OAS Guillermo Cochez," the Foreign Ministry said.
According to official communiqué, Guillermo Cochez's opinion is "far from the stance of the national government (of Panama.)"
In the document, Panama reaffirmed that "it will continue its position of respect for domestic political processes." In connection with Venezuela, "we wish President Hugo Chávez a quick recovery."
Cochez and Venezuelan Ambassador to OAS, Roy Chaderton, clashed on Wednesday at the OAS on the political situation in Venezuela, as President Chávez, who is recovering from a cancer operation in Cuba, could not be sworn in on January 10 for his new presidential term.
Cochez criticized the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, for having endorsed the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice's decision to delay the inauguration, which in his view is equivalent to "validate a series of events without any legal or ethical grounds."
"As a result and as far as we do not mend this wrong, the entire OAS has become an involuntary accomplice of what happened that January 10" Cochez said.
Chaderton rejected Cochez's statements, calling him "silly" and accusing him of supporting those who want to destabilize Venezuela.
Let us start by looking at what appears to be a discrepancy in figures. According to official statistics, the number of Venezuelans contracting HIV/AIDS every year amounts to 11,699; and as per Ministry of Health figures 43,805 people receive free antiretroviral medications. But Jhonatan Rodríguez, the president of ONG StopVIH, claims that these figures date back to March 2012, and that they are quoted as current figures.