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From October 5 to 7, in Lima-Peru with the motto “together against inequality and discrimination”, the General Assembly, the supreme body of the Organization of American States (OAS), holds its 52nd regular session. The reality of the Americas shows the dictatorships of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua holding power with state terrorism and institutionalized violations of human rights, prisoners, political exiles, torture, murders, narco-states and impunity, against the inter-American system until now powerless to fulfill its obligations to preserve and restore democracy to the peoples. Nothing indicates that this General Assembly marks a change due to the inaction of the leaders of the democracies of the Americas.
In the field of Public International Law, an international organization, such as the OAS, is a subject of international law organized as a political instance built and integrated by the member states with specific objectives, in which representation is exercised by the governments. For this reason an international organization adopts the policies and agenda of the majority of its members.
The OAS is the most important international organization in the Americas created by the Charter signed at the IX International American Conference of April 30, 1948, held in Bogotá, which entered into force on December 13, 1951. It is part of the United Nations system and establishes as its purpose “to strengthen peace and security in the Continent… to promote and consolidate democracy…”. On September 11, 2001 in Lima, the Inter-American Democratic Charter was signed, whose article 1 establishes that “The peoples of the Americas have the right to democracy and their governments have the obligation to promote and defend it.”
There are two Americas, one democratic and the other dictatorial, and the axis of confrontation is not ideological, it is existential, dictatorship against democracy. The OAS is part of this confrontation as an actor, battlefield, and target.
The dictatorships dominated the OAS in the Insulza period with control of the vote of almost all the governments of the Latin American countries. With Venezuelan wealth they financed the seizure of power through elections and/or with previous violent or soft coups in South American countries, they controlled those in the Caribbean with Petrocaribe. With a majority of votes, the OAS policy -from 2005 to 2015- was to ignore its Constitutive Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, human rights violations and the establishment of narco-states.
With the change of governments in the region, the context of representation in the OAS also changes. In 2015, Luis Almagro was elected Secretary General of the OAS and, within the framework of the new regional political reality, he became a leader of democracy because he reinstated the validity of the Inter-American Democratic Charter with the reports on Venezuela, pointing out his dictatorship, and then qualify the Cuban regime as a “jinx dictatorship”.
Castrochavism has executed a counterattack in recent years to support the dictatorship of Cuba. He has lost Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, a large part of the control of the Caribbean countries, he has lost the representation of Venezuela in the OAS, he has the support of the dictatorial governments of Argentina and Mexico and he has put presidents in Peru, Chile and Colombia that held back by democratic institutions are still partial support. He has lost control of the OAS and is openly plotting to destroy the OAS and remove Secretary Almagro.
The concrete actions of the OAS depend on the decision and vote of the governments of the member countries, which between dictatorships, governments for dictators and relative control shows that 21st century socialism or Castrochavism is still in the minority but with the capacity to produce the neutralization or stagnation of the organization in pure declarations that, in addition to being redundant, do not fulfill the purposes and obligations of the OAS and are repudiated by the peoples. With this Castrochavista blockade due to the inaction of the democratic leaders, Secretary Almagro is paralyzed and the dictatorships have slowed down his momentum, deteriorating his management.
Addressing inequality and discrimination is important, but it is only an agenda of stalemate or blockade in a region with political prisoners, torture, exile, humanitarian crises, state terrorism, crimes against humanity, narco-states, and the atrocities seen in real time. perpetrated by the transnational organized crime regimes of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Taking concrete actions to end those dictatorships that attack them is something that the leaders of the democracies of the Americas do not seem to want as an agenda.
Carlos Sánchez Berzain es abogado, politólogo, máster en ciencia política y sociología. Catedrático. Estadista perseguido y exiliado político. Director del Interamerican Institute for Democracy // Carlos Sánchez Berzain is a lawyer, political scientist, with a master's degree in political science and sociology. Professor. Persecuted statesman and political exile. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.