Guardians of dictatorships

Luis Gonzales Posada

The erratic – and degrading – course of the foreign policy of Argentina and Mexico, whose governments diplomatically support the dictatorial regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, is surprising, as they once supported Evo Morales after the scandalous electoral fraud that forced him to resign. and go into exile in their countries.

Manuel López Obrador (MLO), Mexican head of state, in effect, projected a candid vision of Cuba by saying that his counterpart Díaz-Canel is “an extraordinary president, hard-working, human, a very good person. A good public servant”, to later announce the hiring of 500 doctors of that nationality and drugs against COVID-19.

This passionate endorsement failed to point out that the Communist Party has been in power for 63 years; that one million 650 thousand human beings have migrated from the island due to hunger and repression – according to UN figures – and that only God knows how many more will be submerged at the bottom of the Caribbean sea when the improvised boats that transported them to freedom sink. He also avoided mentioning that in Cuba the non-official press and opposition groups are prohibited, as well as unauthorized marches.

Pathetic, moreover, that at the same time that AMLO launched thunderous praises at Díaz-Canel, his government kept 1,302 people imprisoned who in 2021 peacefully protested for better living conditions. Of this group, 381 have been sentenced to between five and thirty years in prison, including young people between 16 and 18 years of age. Where, then, was that insurgent Mexico that vigorously defended human rights and that for decades was a center of humanitarian asylum for thousands of Latin Americans?

But AMLO has gone further in his submission to Cuba, by not attending the Summit of the Americas protesting because Washington did not invite the leaders of that country, Venezuela and Nicaragua, forgetting that it is the power of the host to determine who is invited.

In addition, Washington’s decision is consistent with the May 2002 Quebec Summit Declaration, which points to the participation of a government that violates the rule of law and freedoms as “an insurmountable obstacle”; Appealing to this principle – let us remember – Peru calls off the Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro from the 2018 Lima meeting.

AMLO did not go to the Summit, but his spokesman and the Argentine president Alberto Fernández protested the sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela, but covered up the human rights violations committed by those governments, as well as the Nicaraguan one, the three investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Let’s say it clear: the Chavista block continues to strengthen itself by incorporating new allies such as Argentina and Mexico and extra continental powers, such as China, Russia and Iran. What is unusual is that this bloc, which has Caracas-Havana as its axis, is the one that exhibits the highest rates of poverty, insecurity and corruption in the region.

Why then do they expand? The democracies of the hemisphere must deeply analyze these facts to design strategies and prevent that authoritarian model from ending up subjugating the precarious republican institutions that survive the powerful Bolivarian winds. For now, there is an urgent need to reform the OAS, an ectoplasmic body, in obvious decline, due to the ineffectiveness of the member countries and/or the ambivalent and devious position of its secretary general, Ambassador Almagro. If they don’t, CELAC will end up replacing them: that’s the game; you just have to look carefully.

But there is another fact that we cannot ignore: the support of the Chavista group for the Russian invasion in Ukraine and that Nicaragua authorizes Moscow to deploy its Armed Forces in its territory. The governments of the hemisphere, however, have not said a word about this very serious decision. The OAS has not even taken the hint, when it had to urgently convene its Permanent Council to analyze the seriousness of this situation, which pierces the fundamental principles of the Inter-American Charter.

Published in Saturday June 18, 2022.

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