‘Our America’ Needs a Forum Without the United States …
Would the nations of Latin America be better off replacing the Organization of American States with a new grouping that leaves out the U.S.? After the success of last week’s Group of Rio Summit – which the U.S. did not attend – in defusing a military-diplomatic crisis involving Colombia and a number of its neighbors, there are many people south of the United States that seem to think so. Ángel Guerra Cabrera for Mexico’s La Jornada writes in part, ‘Seemingly intractable antagonisms and ideological crisis can be overcome as long as they are addressed without the presence of the United States … Looking back at history, the OAS has never condemned a single Yankee misdeed against our America, nor has it defended any of our just causes.’ In terms of the attack against Ecuador by Colombia, Cabrera expresses the suspicions of many Latin Americans, when he writes, ‘the roots of the Ecuador incident, momentarily defused by the Rio Group, remain unchanged: the Colombian conflict, the fruit of a very unfair and devastating social and political reality which has been encouraged by “Plan Colombia,” is the nucleus of a feverish U.S. plot of subversion and military interference in South America, aimed at overthrowing the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, and closely related to the fierce onslaught against Cuba.’
By Ángel Guerra Cabrera
Translated By Fernando Uribe
March 13, 2008
Mexico – La Jornada – Original Article (Spanish)
The Group of Rio Summit’s resounding rejection of military aggression against Ecuador and the consequent defusing of the diplomatic crisis that it sparked, has once again forced Bush – who longed for fire in the Andes region – to experience the bitter taste of defeat WATCH . In this reversal, he had to swallow the clear and vibrant desire for unity, cooperation, and peace in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was so forcefully displayed at Santo Domingo’s capital, Quisqueya.
[Editor’s Note: The “Group of Rio” was founded in 1986, and includes nineteen Caribbean states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The 35-nation OAS (Organization of American States) has been the dominant regional decision-making body for many years. The earliest forerunner of the OAS first convened in Washington in 1890, and consisted of 18 nations].
The great lesson of the summit is the enormous capacity for dialogue and understanding that the governments of our region possess, with which seemingly intractable antagonisms and ideological crisis can be overcome as long as they are addressed without the presence of the United States.
The best evidence of this came days earlier at OAS headquarters in Washington. Due solely to Yankee pressure – even though for the first time all present clearly condemned all U.S.-inspired interventions, it was impossible to translate this into a collective statement.
On the other hand, despite the fact that Yankee pressure increased on the eve of the meeting in the Dominican Republic (as President Rafael Correa briefed several of his counterparts) U.S. intentions ended up crashing against a determined majority. So there was more than enough reason, in light of this experience, for Ecuador to assert the necessity of creating an organization of Latin American states without the Empire. Looking back at history, the OAS has never condemned a single Yankee misdeed against our America, nor has it defended any of our just causes.
The success of the Rio Summit was also made possible by other decisive factors. The most important was [Ecuadorian President] Correa’s unwavering defense of Ecuadorian sovereignty and demands for its violation to be condemned – and the unanimous disapproval of this ominous precedent. This included the resolute attitude of heavyweights like Brazil and Argentina not to accept under any circumstances, violations of the territorial integrity of another State, which left Uribe isolated.
The only positive attitude towards the Latin American peoples, once assured censorship of the summit to the armed attack against Ecuador, was not insist on the large differences in approach for the sake of opposing defuse the climate of war created.
The skilful and transparent conduct of the meeting by Dominican President Leonel Fernandez created the climate for the bright and balanced involvement of Hugo Chavez who took the lead, supported by [Nicaraguan President] Daniel Ortega and [Bolivian President] Evo Morales. This was the turning point that kept away the shadow of a fratricidal war and led to the unexpected conclusion. This singular attitude favored by the people of Latin America not only assured the summit’s censure of the armed attack against Ecuador, it made certain in the interests of not extending the warlike atmosphere, that little would be made of the vast differences in approach suggested by individual states.
READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing coverage of the United States from the Latin American press.