Mere wrapping paper. The Inter-American Democratic Charter solemnly signed in Lima in 2001 by the OAS’ 34 member countries was useless. Sixty dead, hundreds of injured and tortured people and more than 2,000 arrested, yet the Organization of American States could not agree to condemn the Venezuelan regime after the totalitarian drift taken by Nicolás Maduro.
Almost all the CARICOM countries — which are approximately the same as those in Petrocaribe, the Venezuelan Odebrecht, corrupted by petrodollars — sold to Chavism their democratic conscience and compassion for the boys who struggle and die for democracy.
They formed a club of grateful stomachs, secretly coordinated in this event by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, controlled by the skillful political operators of the Cuban Intelligence Directorate (DI) presided by Gen. Eduardo Delgado Rodríguez, to oppose the resolution introduced by the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru and Panama, offering instead an alternate, totally anodyne statement whose only object was to prevent the qualified majority demanded by the OAS’ bylaws from issuing a joint declaration.
The combined population of the 15 states affiliated to the CARICOM is barely 5 percent of the census of the nations willing to censure Maduro, but the democratic fiction that rules the OAS determines that the vote of Monserrat, a geologic excrescence with fewer than 6,000 inhabitants who boast a flag, an anthem, a gas station and two pharmacies, is worth the same as Brazil’s.
In other words, Raúl Castro and Nicolás Maduro, suddenly and shrewdly, granted foreign policy to some miniscule countries that lacked it, for the purpose of blocking the action of some nations that were attempting to enforce the moral commitment adopted by all other signatories of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
The result was predictable. The OAS is a geographic institution that was born as a result of the Cold War. Nevertheless, its architect, the United States, lost interest in the organization. Especially since, in December 1989, the institution slipped from its fingers and condemned Washington for invading Panama, an action taken to terminate the criminal narcodictatorship of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.
Events precipitated after the assassination of a U.S. official assigned to the Canal Zone and the rape of another official by Noriega’s soldiers. The invasion finally brought democracy to the country. A few months later, the legitimate government of Guillermo Endara, inspired by Vice President Ricardo Arias Calderón, demilitarized Panama, forever outlawing an army that had served only to tyrannize the people and stimulate the traffic in drugs.
There should be sanctions for the diplomats and member states that violate the commitments they had sworn to uphold. It is not possible that functionaries and politicians committed to the defense of Human Rights and the rules of liberal democracy can end up supporting Maduro’s dictatorship in exchange for a handful of barrels of oil and other shady deals.
Senator Marco Rubio’s recent threat to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and El Salvador regarding support for the democratic stances within the OAS was premonitory. After the recent spectacle, perhaps some Republican and Democratic legislators in the U.S. will introduce a bipartisan bill that punishes those officials who ignore or betray the commitments previously adopted in international relations.
It is known that denying corrupt politicians and functionaries visas to enter the United States, confiscating their ill-gotten resources, or making it impossible for them to buy property in the U.S. have a strong dissuasive effect on the reprehensible behavior of those white-collar bandits. Those measures would be a legitimate way to contribute to decency and seriousness in the region. [©FIRMAS PRESS]
*Journalist and writer. His latest book is the novel A Time for Scoundrels.
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*