Can CELAC End the OAS? Part 2

By José Steinsleger on October 6, 2021

photo: Mexico gov.

The relaunch of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) [6th Summit, Mexico City, September 18, 2021] after four years of inactivity was possible thanks to the will of a small group of heads of state interested in articulating a continental bloc of integration and cooperation without the United States and Canada. The last summit had taken place in the Dominican Republic (January 2017) as Donald Trump was taking the reins of power in the United States. Three years later, a clone of Trump, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, withdrew from the organization: CELAC gives prominence to totalitarian regimes (sic), said Jair’s former Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.

With Joe Biden, nothing changed for CELACand its central purpose: to do away with the Organization of American States (OAS), a body supervised by Washington in the so-called Cold War and the favorite tool reserved for rulers defending their sovereignty: silver or lead.

The most recent chapter in Washington’s imperialist policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, the history of the OAS can be viewed, month by month, in the Chronology of Foreign Interventions – a meticulous compilation of records annotated by the Argentine journalist Gregorio Selser (volume IV, 1946-90, 700 pages, Camena, UACM, 2010).

The four years of Trump and his gang had their aftershocks in the Americas: democratic triumphs in Mexico (2018), Argentina (2019) and Bolivia (2020), one year after the coup engineered by the OAS in La Paz, together with its unpresentable Secretary General Luis Almagro.

And, now with Biden elected, Peru lived through a tight victory of a popular coalition led by a humble teacher of the Andes (2021). This led to the disarticulation of the OAS-backed Lima Group which did not care to make a fool of itself by recognizing an imbecile who proclaimed himself president of Venezuela in a flowery park in Caracas.

The sixth summit was attended by six dictators, as the right wing calls the rulers elected by their peoples: Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Alberto Fernández, Luis Arce, Nicolás Maduro, Miguel Díaz-Canel, Pedro Castillo, and Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (110,000 inhabitants, 387 square kilometers). And the rest, also democratic, although executioners of their peoples, such as Colombia’s Iván Duque and Chile’s Sebastián Piñera.

In any case, the conclave was possible thanks to the vision of a ruler with a broad outlook and no ideological pettiness. For this reason, on the 238th anniversary of the birth of the Liberator (who, it is worth remembering, recognized himself as a Spanish-American), López Obrador convened the CELAC foreign ministers on July 24 at the emblematic Chapultepec Castle, where he said:

“The policy of the last two centuries, characterized by invasions to put or remove rulers at the whim of the superpower, is now unacceptable; let us say goodbye to impositions, interferences, sanctions, exclusions, blockades […] Let us initiate in our continent a relationship under the premise of George Washington, according to which ‘nations should not take advantage of the misfortune of other peoples’…”

The proposal is no more and no less than to constitute something similar to the European Union, but attached to our history, our reality and our identities. In this spirit, the replacement of the OAS by a truly autonomous organization, not a lackey of anyone, should not be ruled out…”

Now: Does CELAC (33 countries) have the necessary critical mass to do away with the OAS? Maybe not, “for now”, as the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo Chávez affirmed anticipated seven years before the presidential election he won in 1998 before going on to be reelected in 2000, 2006 and 2012, averaging 58 percent of the votes.

Electoral victories became an artful pretext for the infamous OAS Democratic Charter approved in Lima on September 11, 2001. And what does the Charter say? Words more, words less, the document says that a candidate can win democratically in free elections, but that can become a dictator. And who gets to decide? None other than upper crust intelectuals and fancy journalists who, in Mexico for example, call López Obrador a dictator?

Another aspect, which in our opinion prevents Latin American unity from materializing into a great political bloc, is the ideological and cultural subordination to the Anglo-Saxon black legend from the 16th century onwards which led left and right alike to row in a circle since 1810.

We close, then, with the words of the Basque guerrilla Francisco Xavier Mina (1789-1817) – the Che Guevara of his era who successfully fought in Spain against the Napoleonic invasion and disembarked on April 25, 1817, in Soto la Marina, placing himself at the orders of the Mexican patriots:

This land was twice drowned in blood by servile Spaniards, abject vassals of a king; but there were also liberal and patriotic Spaniards who sacrificed their lives, their rest, for our common good”

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English

[Editor´s Note: This is the second of a two-part series published in La Jornada. The first of two was also translated and published by Resumen Latinoamericano – English and can be found here]