By Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein – Sep 18, 2020
In his attempt to destroy the multilateral system, Donald Trump does not even stop at the subjugation of those institutions created by the United States to sustain its imperial domination. This is particularly evident in Latin America and the Caribbean where, not content with all the excesses carried out by such institutions with the support of the hegemonic power, he arms and disarms them at will.
The most noticeable case was when, faced with the impotence and failure of the Organization of American States (OAS) in its attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela, it gathered its obedient friends in the Peruvian capital to take up the baton and aspire to achieve what the OAS could not. In the end, it all ended in one more buffoonery by Pompeo, the CIA director who serves as Secretary of State.
It has become more evident than ever that U.S. foreign policy cannot be achieved through diplomatic channels prone to negotiation and dialogue, and can only be imposed through submission, force, threat and blackmail. Of course, in Latin America and the Caribbean it succeeds because right-wing elites are not afraid to submit, to be threatened and blackmailed and to accept force regardless of national interests or sovereignty, if it is to defend their petty interests.
But now the imperial eagerness has gone much further, going on to subjugate its own minions who are trying to make weak moans that are only an expression of the collapse of the Pan American and Monroe Doctrine system by the action of the imperial master himself when he has been able to confirm the uselessness of structures that were intended to sustain neocolonial domination by making obscure and self-serving use of international law.
That no longer serves them, they have not been able to bring Cuba to its knees, they have not been able to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, they have not been able to build majorities to support the subjugation. So the United States has understood that a situation of obsolescence of such structures has been reached and has decided to intervene, despite the protest of some who were previously their lackeys.
A scenario of this lackey rebellion is taking place at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where Trump decided to violate a verbal agreement that the president of that organization would always be a Latin American. This has been the case since its foundation, which has allowed the financial entity to maintain a facade as an autonomous institution. However, the President of the United States has decided to impose a candidate of his own. The designated one is Mauricio Claver-Carone, a pupil of Marco Rubio, who had already been placed in the White House as part of the quota of the Cuban-American terrorist ultra-right in the Trump’s government, in this case to occupy the position of Special Assistant to the President and Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the National Security Council of the United States, from where all the anti-Cuban and anti-Venezuelan fury of the American State is directed. In return, Rubio must provide Florida’s votes for Trump’s reelection.
The decision fell like a bomb on the subordinate countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The truth is that Trump has not violated any written laws, only a verbal agreement from almost 60 years ago. Even a group of former Latin American presidents who during his tenure maintained a dog-eat-dog subordination to the United States now claim that Trump’s decision is “a very serious violation of the fundamental political agreement with which he was born” (the IDB).
In a letter made public on August 26, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Felipe Gonzalez, Ricardo Lagos, Julio Maria Sanguinetti, Juan Manuel Santos and Ernesto Zedillo said that this fact “breaks the logic and wisdom of that foundational political agreement. They claim that there has been no discussion on the matter, calling the measure a “major break” and asking for reflection, “because that nomination constitutes a serious lack of respect for the rules of hemispheric and international coexistence and certainly a serious attack on Latin American dignity.”
The former presidents acknowledge that the United States has the votes of Brazil, Colombia and Guaidó (whom the IDB transformed into a country) and that it would be enough to add “one or two additional countries” for the Trump candidate to achieve his “reprehensible purpose.”
In this unusual statement, typical of children who cry when a toy is taken from them, these ex-presidents, who while remaining in the presidency of their countries never made any statement in defense of respect for the dignity of the peoples of our region or rejection of the permanent aggression of the United States against Latin America, now that they have no power, warn that: “Because of its form and substance, this would be an arbitrary imposition, which we have no doubt would have very negative consequences for the future of the institution and the future of the relationship between the United States and Latin America. The damage to the IDB would be irreparable.”
Finally, they assured that the election of the next president of the IDB, scheduled for this September, lacks legitimacy and should be considered null and void. They therefore call on the member countries of the IDB to realize that the new president of the organism could arise from an “act lacking historical and political legitimacy”. The problem is that Claver-Carone claims to have the 15 votes needed for his election, including those of some of the countries from which these former presidents come. Their current rulers have preferred to opt for their loyalty to the imperial master to the detriment of the defense of the national interests that their retired colleagues claim to represent.
In another area, also within the Pan American system, this time using Almagro, the United States has decided to intervene in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) at the request of Argentina (during Macri’s term), Colombia, Paraguay, Brazil and Chile who did not see fit for the head of this body to overstep his duties to pursue governments opposed by the United States to investigate those who have imperial endorsement to commit all kinds of human rights abuses. These countries want to assert their autonomy as nations above that of the IACHR, which generates an unwanted insubordination that Washington cannot accept on pain of the collapse of the imperial system. At the same time, a contradiction emerges from the fact that these countries are loyal supporters of the foreign policy of the US power.
Despite having been unanimously elected to a new term in the General Secretariat of the IACHR, the Brazilian Paulo Abrão has been dismissed by Almagro. The illegal decision of the OAS Secretary General done without consultation was made under the justification that there are administrative complaints against the Brazilian, but as is usual when one has the receipt from Washington, he did not present any evidence. Nor did it matter that the IACHR is autonomous in the appointment of its leaders.
Using a convoluted method based on allegations presented by Colombian Neida Perez, whom Almagro named “ombudsman” in order to have another instrument to attack Venezuela, the Secretary General expanded Perez’s mediation functions to include investigative tasks that she does not have and which are illegal.
In the view of the IACHR, Almagro’s actions constitute “a frank disregard of her independence and autonomy”. Even the vice-president of the IACHR, Antonia Urrejola from Chile, stated that this is not a question of reputation or defending Paulo Abrão in particular, but rather a debate that goes much further and defines the independence and autonomy of the IACHR.
For his part, in an interview with the radio of University of Chile, the Mexican commissioner of the IACHR, Joel Hernández, said that Almagro’s decision leaves this institution “without options” and in a situation “that seems without return.”
The situation of the IACHR is another expression of the crisis affecting the Pan American Monroe Doctrine system. Almagro’s decision generates a great contradiction because, on the one hand, it ignores the legal fact that derives from the autonomy that this body has with respect to the OAS while, on the other hand, it highlights its de facto subordination to the State Department as all regional bodies that were born under the anti-communist influence of the years of bipolarity after World War II. Hernandez affirms that Almagro’s decision is unprecedented and would break a tradition of more than 20 years in which “the Commission elects and the OAS designates,” which means nothing to Almagro in the desire to make his servile disposition to Washington clear.
According to the award-winning Colombian journalist Gonzalo Guillén, in an article published in the newspaper “La Nueva Prensa” of Bogotá last August 31, Almagro’s performance is based on his corrupt character that led him to pay an “unseemly price” to complete the votes he needed to be re-elected as Secretary-General of the OAS. Guillén says that in addition to the perks of the position, Almagro needs to hold on to it, because he is politically dead in his country Uruguay since the left considers him a traitor and the right does not trust him.
In this context is that – following the reasoning of Guillén – Almagro received the support of some countries that asked for the head of Abrão in return. Likewise, he assures that one of those countries is Colombia “through its questioned ambassador to the OAS, the obscure former prosecutor Alejandro Ordóñez (neo-Nazi, misogynist, racist, corrupt and homophobic)”.
Recalling George Orwell’s novel that gives the title to this article, it seems that the measures implemented by Trump in his “backyard” have gone so far that they have generated a “farm rebellion,” in which animals fight to obtain what they believe is a better government that is not very different from the one that exists. As on the construction site, corruption, petty interests, and the pursuit of profit by groups and factions are competing for the construction of a new form of power and domination that could be worse than the one before it.
As in Orwell’s novel, one could say that “Napoleon” Trump is throwing his dogs at all the Latin American “Snowball” players, who are horrified at the prospect of having to flee the farm. Napoleon, the head of the pigs that took over, is becoming the sole leader, ignoring the other pigs of the Lima Group that accompanied him until now and that like the men displaced from the farm may be victims of the dogs called Pompeo, Almagro, Rubio and others. The fear of these pigs – who, when they were in power, behaved just like Napoleon – is that the facts are indicating that they could also be devoured by the dogs that the leader has launched in his pursuit.