WILL THE OAS 49TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY COVER UP BOLIVIA’S DICTATORSHIP?
Carlos Sánchez Berzaín*
Unexplainably the Organization of American States is avoiding to apply the Interamerican Democratic Charter (IDC) to Bolivia’s “vote-catching dictatorship” and does not defend Bolivians’ human rights to comply with Article 32.2 of the American Convention on Human Rights. Under these conditions, the OAS’ 49th General Assembly to be held from 26 to 28 June in Medellin, Colombia, will be stigmatized by “Almagro’s double standard” in the application of principles and regulations and will be known as the one that covered up Bolivia’s dictatorship.
Ever since General Secretary Luis Almagro backed Evo Morales’ fourth consecutive presidential candidacy in Bolivia this past 17th of May, “Almagro’s double standard” has been made crystal clear; to defend democracy and fight against dictatorship in cases such as the ones in Venezuela and Cuba, but back and support the crime Evo Morales commits -in the same Castroist Chavist mold- in order to illegally and illegitimately hold on to power in Bolivia.
I have imagined the “vote-catching dictatorship” as “a political regime that by force or violence; concentrates the whole of political power in one person or in one group, represses human rights and basic freedoms, and uses elections as a means of simulation and propaganda in order to keep itself indefinitely in power”. The regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia are vote-catching dictatorships.
A vote-catching dictatorship, such as the one in Bolivia, does not have any of the essential components of democracy established by Article 3 of the Interamerican Democratic Charter. For many years in Bolivia, human rights and basic freedoms are violated, there are political prisoners and exiles, there is no “Rule of Law”, there is neither separation nor independence in any of the branches of government and this enables Morales to manipulate the courts’ rulings and resolutions perverting the course of justice and electoral processes, elections are neither fair nor clean, and the right to a secret vote as an expression of the peoples’ sovereignty is not guaranteed, there is no free political organization.
Citizens, organizations, political prisoners and exiles, journalists, parliamentarians, and political leaders, have made multiple requests, used multiple resources and made multiple petitions so that the Interamerican System apply the OAS’ regulations in Bolivia, practically ever since Evo Morales ascended into power.
This past 6th of June, Bolivian parliamentarians, Senator Carmen Eva Gonzales and Congresswoman Norma Pierola, delivered at the office of United States Ambassador Carlos Trujillo, President of the OAS’ Permanent Council, a letter requesting: 1) That he instruct Secretary Almagro to present to the Permanent Council, as soon as possible, a report on the absence of democracy in Bolivia as mandated by the content of the Interamerican Democratic Charter, including the manipulation of Bolivian judges to corrupt the course of justice by ruling as a human right Evo Morales’ indefinite candidacy. 2) To include the subject of Bolivia’s crisis at the 49th General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia, due to the absence of democracy and the set up of a dictatorship in the mold of Cuba and Venezuela, ensured with Evo Morales’ -a disqualified candidate- participation in the coming elections of 20 October of 2019, that Secretary Almagro has backed on behalf of the OAS. 3) That all necessary steps be taken to restore democracy in Bolivia.
Twenty-one of Americas’ former presidents from Spain and the Americas’ Democratic Initiatives (“IDEA” in Spanish), following a thorough analysis of the inexistence of the essential components of democracy in Bolivia, issued on the 10th of June a “Statement on the Reelection in Bolivia” in which they conclude that “given the recalcitrance of the Bolivian ruler who, once again, attempts against the principles and the rules of democracy on which the Interamerican System is based upon” the OAS’ Permanent Council, currently led by Carlos Trujillo, Ambassador from the United States, is invited to deal with it and the OAS to apply its existing regulations.
I repeat; those States who back Almagro’s performance in Venezuela and Cuba, do not want Almagro to be weakened any further, and those States who consider Almagro a traitor have Morales as benefiting from Almagro’s backing and will defer their stand until after October’s elections in Bolivia. There are those who allow “Almagro’s double standard” and others who support Almagro’s backing to the disqualified Evo Morales. This is why, it is possible the OAS’ 49th General Assembly will not address Bolivia’s crisis, and will -henceforth- be known as the one that covered up Bolivia’s dictatorship.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Published by Infobae.com Sunday, June 23rd, 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.