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The 52nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) 09 Oct 2022 19:20 #12319

  • Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
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From the 5th to the 7th of October, in Lima, Peru, the highest organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) holds its 52nd ordinary period of sessions under the banner of “together against inequality and discrimination”. Americas’ reality now shows Cuba, Venezuela Bolivia, and Nicaragua’s dictatorships wielding power with State terrorism and institutionalized violations of human rights, political prisoners and exiles, torture, assassinations, narco-States and impunity, facing an Interamerican system that -up to now- has been unable to meet its obligations to preserve and restore democracy to the nations. Due to the inaction of Americas’ democratic leaders, nothing seems to indicate this General Assembly will bring forth a change.

In the realm of Public International Law, an international organization -as the OAS- is a subject of international law organized as a political body constructed and integrated by member States with determining objectives at which the representation is done by the governments. This is why an international organization adopts the policies and the agenda of the majority of its members.

The OAS is America’s most important international organization, created by the Charter signed at the 9th American International Conference of 30 April 1948 conducted in Bogota that went into effect on 13 December of 1951. It is part of the United Nations system and has, as its objective, “to strengthen peace and security in the continent . . . to promote and consolidate democracy . . .”. On 11 September of 2001, at Lima, the Interamerican Democratic Charter was signed, its article 1 establishes that “Peoples of the Americas have the right to democracy and their governments the obligation to promote and defend it”.

There are two Americas, one democratic and the other dictatorial and the axis of confrontation between both is not ideologic it is existential, dictatorship against democracy. The OAS is part of this confrontation as an actor, field of battle, and objective.

Under the leadership of Insulza, dictatorships dominated the OAS with their control of the votes of almost all of the Latin-American governments. With Venezuelan wealth, they financed the ascent to power of governments either through elections and/or previous violent or soft coups d’état in South American countries and controlled those from the Caribbean with Petrocaribe. With the majority of votes under its control, OAS’ policy from 2005 to 2015 was to ignore its foundational charter and the Interamerican Democratic Charter, the violation of human rights and the establishment of narco-States.

Along with the change of governments in the region the settings of representation at the OAS also changed. In 2015, Luis Almagro was elected as Secretary General of the OAS and -within the framework of the new regional political reality- became democracy’s leader because he reinstated the mandates of the Interamerican Democratic Charter with his reports on Venezuela, identifying it as a dictatorship, to then label the Cuban regime as the “Chief Dictatorship”.

These past years, Castrochavism has been conducting a counter-attack to sustain Cuba’s dictatorship. It has lost Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, a big chunk of its control of Caribbean States, it has lost Venezuela’s representation at the OAS, it has the support of para-dictatorial governments from Argentina and Mexico, and has planted presidents in Peru, Chile, and Colombia who -curbed by existing democratic institutions- still represent a partial support. Castrochavism has lost control of the OAS and openly conspires to destroy the OAS and to remove Secretary Almagro.

Concrete OAS’ actions depend on the decisions and votes of the governments of member States that amongst dictatorships, para-dictatorial governments, and of relative control, show that 21st Century Socialism or Castrochavism continues to be active as a minority but with the capacity to produce stagnation and neutralization of the organization through symbolic declarations that beyond being redundant, do not meet the objectives and obligations of the OAS and are repudiated by the nations. Due to the inaction of democratic leaders, Castrochavists -with their blockade- negatively impact the OAS’ and have paralyzed Secretary Almagro curbing his momentum and deteriorating his administration.

To deal with inequality and discrimination is important but is only a chip in a standoff agenda or a blockade effort in a region that has political prisoners, torture, exile, humanitarian crises, State terrorism, crimes against humanity, narco-States and atrocities that are seen in real-time perpetrated by the transnational organized crime regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. To undertake concrete actions to end those dictatorships that attack them is something that America’s democratic leaders would seem to want as the agenda.

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