OAS COVERS UP ALMAGRO’S DOUBLE STANDARD ON VENEZUELA, CUBA AND BOLIVIA.
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
In the month that has passed since the Organization of American States (OAS) General Secretary gave his backing to a disqualified Evo Morales endorsing his fourth consecutive candidacy to Bolivia’s presidency as a “human right”, the condemnation to Luis Almagro’s actions and arguments for committing and holding up such a felony is massive. People, journalists, organizations, academicians, parliamentarians, and diplomats, point out perplexed the General Secretary’s opposite position dealing with the same facts elsewhere and ask the OAS for concrete actions. The OAS, however, has not addressed the issue and up to now covers up “Almagro’s double standard”.
The OAS is a political entity of 35 States represented by their governments where each government’s interests and ideology define their position and therefore the Organizations’ course. The General Secretary is the OAS’ legal representative, elected by the General Assembly for a 5-year term, and can only be reelected once. Of the 35 OAS’ member states, Cuba is self-excluded, so 34 vote and the General Secretary can be elected with 18 votes.
In Venezuela, Almagro applied the Interamerican Democratic Charter with four reports. He stated: “the General Secretary has as his main function that of safeguarding the compliance of Interamerican guidelines . . . he must be a guardian of the system’s governing principles amongst which are the respect for human rights, the promotion and strengthening of democracy. . .”. He started by asserting: “in the current situation that Venezuela lives, after conducting an analysis of the facts, we cannot but to conclude that we are facing grave alterations to the democratic order . . .” (OSG/243-16, May 30th of 2016), and in April of 2017, he declared: “Venezuela is a total dictatorship”.
Regarding Cuba, in January of 2019, Secretary Almagro stated that “the revolution survives because it represses” and because it lives “from extreme parasitism” “. . . Cuba is a prostituted revolution” “. . . it is essential that the revolution fail” “. . . the revolution’s legacy is disastrous” “. . . its legacy are the thousands killed by firing squads or drowned . . .” Cuba’s people “have to recover their sovereignty. . .” “the Cuban regime has to go, leave the way for people to be free, because the system “pushes its people into exile”.
As announced in December of 2018, Almagro seeks to be reelected as General Secretary with the backing of the Ambassadors from Colombia and the United States. He would have sought to be reelected at the 49th General Assembly in Medellin (26 to 28 June of 2019). Everything seemed to indicate that he had 17 out of 34 votes and he had hoped to add Bolivia’s vote in exchange for backing Evo Morales’ illegal reelection.
The vote from Morales’ regime was the 18th vote, would that vote be the one that would have reelected Almagro as General Secretary? Was it that this ulterior motive made all the principles, analyses, and facts on Venezuela and Cuba not be applicable to the Bolivian case? Was it this reason that caused Almagro to declare: “to say that Evo Morales today cannot participate, that would be absolutely discriminatory with the other presidents who have participated in electoral processes, based on a judicial ruling acknowledging the guarantees of their human rights”? This is why Almagro declared: “My position remains the same, the reelection is not a human right, but I don’t have any institutional means to oppose a judgement, a ruling from the Bolivian Supreme Court, moreover because the Interamerican System never said anything regarding this”. This is why he acted in such a way that was totally contradictory to his twitter of 22 September of 2017 in which he asserted: “Evo Morales shall have to respect the popular decision that said NO to a reelection. None of the judges is above the only sovereign mandate; that of the people”. Was this the cause for Almagro to take back his statement made on the 28th of October of 2017 regarding the report from the “Venice Commission” that he himself had asked for?
These facts were denounced by Bolivian parliamentarians to the President of the OAS’ Permanent Council, Ambassador Carlos Trujillo, representative from the United States at the OAS. These facts should be officially known by all member States, but from a political perspective, there are problems. On one hand, those countries supporting Almagro’s position on Venezuela and Cuba, don’t want to lose Almagro. On the other hand, those who consider Almagro a “traitor”, want to remove him from the OAS, Cuba and Venezuela, along with Uruguay, Mexico, Nicaragua, and others, have their partner the Bolivian regime, benefitted by their maneuver. It seems that because these interests, one side is willing to dodge “Almagro’s double standard” and the other side wants to hold on to the legitimization that Almagro gave the disqualified Morales. For both sides; it is best not to do anything.
If the OAS at its 49th General Assembly does not deal with Almagro’s deplorable conduct to benefit Bolivia’s dictatorship and applies the IDC to Bolivia, just as it did to Venezuela, besides covering it up, the OAS will be enabling the fourth Castroist Chavist dictatorship to have a firm foothold in Bolivia and will add a new violation of its principles and objectives, taking this institution back to the days of Insulza’s Organization.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy”.
Published by infobae.com Sunday, June 16th, 2019
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.