Voices increasingly agree on the urgent need to replace the Organization of American States (OAS) with an organization such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), among others. This would permit a different approach to Latin American and Caribbean regional integration.
One of the triggers of this debate has been the role played by OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, firmly sponsored by the United States, and his interference in the internal affairs of various countries in the region.
Bolivia: “Almagro must go”
On August 9, Almagro reiterated a report presented in 2019, that detected purported irregularities in the presidential electoral process of that year in Bolivia, and alleged a “fraud” in favor of the incumbent, Evo Morales.
In a special virtual meeting of the Permanent Council of the organization, held last Wednesday 25, the Bolivian Ministers of Justice, Iván Lima, and of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Mayta, as well as the Bolivian ambassador to the OAS, Héctor Arce Zaconeta, condemned the statement, accusing Almagro of exceeding his functions and attacking the sovereignty of Bolivia while violating the policies of the OAS, and the international principles of non-intervention.
In March, Ambassador Lima had raised the idea of taking legal action against Almagro for his claims regarding the alleged electoral fraud in the 2019 presidential elections in Bolivia and his support for the ensuing coup.
At the beginning of August, Mayta stated that “Almagro has to realize that the best thing he could do is to leave the OAS because, if he does not leave voluntarily now, he is doing things so badly that he could end up being fired from his post.”
Morales, for his part, accused him of crimes against humanity, adding that Almagro never spoke up about the 36 murders, the more than 800 wounded, the 1,500 illegally detained, and the hundred persecuted by the dictatorial government of Jeanine Áñez.
Voices join the chorus
La Paz’s position during the aforementioned meeting was supported by Mexico and Nicaragua, who denounced OAS’s interference in the electoral process, and its support for the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez.
The Nicaraguan ambassador, Luis Alvarado, referred to the OAS report as “illegal and fallacious,” and reiterated the “firm and unshakable solidarity and support for the people and Government of Bolivia, which continues to face the coup aggression perpetrated by the OAS General Secretariat.”
The Mexican Ambassador Luz Elena Baños criticized Almagro for “exceeding his duties” and “increasing polarization” in the hemisphere. The Foreign Minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, said last Sunday that “someone has to send a letter, or something, to Almagro, but the OAS cannot continue to be an instrument of intervention.” Ebrard warned that, at the CELAC summit on September 18 that goal has been set, and that “Mexico can, with the excellent dialogue that President López Obrador has with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Vice President Kamala Harris, be the one to facilitate this agreement.”
On July 24, in a speech paying tribute to the Liberator Simón Bolívar, the Mexican president requested the replacement of the regional body by another that is not anybody’s “lackey” —something similar to the European Union (EU), for example.
Why it is important
This initiative, which Commander Hugo Chávez proposed for more than a decade during his administration, is taking shape now because the region’s stability and integration continues to be harmed by this organization and the historic burden of its control by the United States. The OAS organizes coups like the one in Bolivia, encourages military interventions in Venezuela, and supports attempts to isolate Cuba or Nicaragua, among other shameful deeds.
Featured image: Flags of the member countries of CELAC (Photo: Foreign Ministry of Ecuador).
Translation: Orinoco Tribune