ALMAGRO’S DOUBLE STANDARD WITH BOLIVIA’S CRISIS AT THE OAS’ ASSEMBLY
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
Luis Almagro announced the 49th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) (to be held at Medellin, Colombia, from 26 to 28 June) will have, as its main themes, Venezuela and Nicaragua but failed to mention that by applying the same agenda that has taken Venezuela and Nicaragua to a crisis, Evo Morales in Bolivia violates the OAS’ principles and those of the Interamerican Democratic Charter (IDC). Secretary Almagro again uses a “double standard” in excluding to deal with Bolivia’s crisis at the OAS’ 49th General Assembly.
From Medellin, the General Assembly’s Preliminary Agenda consisting of 31 points was revealed; Point 25 of the agenda is entitled “Venezuela’s situation” and Point 28 “Nicaragua’s situation”. Secretary Almagro stated “these two themes will, definitely, be the main ones, because they definitely have the most problematic dimension” and that they “are not comparable among each other, but prompt action is necessary with regard to both of them”.
Referring himself to Venezuela, Almagro said “when we have that State as more than a failed state, a State completely impregnated by narcotics’ trafficking and by organized crime, we have to generate necessary political solutions”.
Regarding Nicaragua, he stated “we are in a process by which the government assumed the responsibility to free all political prisoners” and that “by the time the Assembly meets, that responsibility has to be met”. He also said “there is responsibility in Nicaragua regarding the democratization of the country, the institutionalization of the country, to resolve the basic constitutional guarantees, and to render justice to the issues that come up”.
While Secretary Almagro’s assessment of Venezuela’s and Nicaragua’s situation is right on target, he uses a double standard with Bolivia’s situation with his statements made this past 17th of May backing Morales’ fourth, criminal, consecutive candidacy. He said “to say that Evo Morales today cannot participate, (as a candidate in the elections), 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”. (Both; Chavez in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua, did it).
Secretary Almagro, on page 5 of his report on Venezuela, OSG/243-16, states: “. . . the integrated vision of how democracy functions, has to do with the good practices the States carry on -in concordance with signed international agreements- towards the protection of the civil and political rights of their citizens, . . . the international community and authorities from International and Regional Organizations must preserve these good practices and permanently control the application of bad practices outside of the constitutional order and international agreements, by signatory countries because these have a destructive contagious effect”.
Democracy is indispensable for the OAS. “. . . in the defense of democracy, we must avoid double standards and apply mechanisms such as the Interamerican Democratic Charter in each case there is corroborated deteriorating situations regarding the respect to the essential components of representative democracy and the fundamental components in the exercise of democracy. Action is what makes the international protection of democracy effective”.
In Bolivia, with Cuba’s and Venezuela’s Castroist Chavist strategy and methodology, replicating what has been done in Venezuela and Nicaragua, they have supplanted the country’s Constitution and have eliminated the Republic. None of the essential elements of democracy -that Almagro so vehemently defends in his reports on Venezuela- are met; human rights and individual basic freedoms are violated with dozens of political prisoners and over 1,200 political exiles; there is no “Rule of Law”; the country is a “narco-state”; there is no separation or independence in the branches of government, judges are regime-dependent; and now with Almagro’s endorsement on behalf of the OAS there will be elections that are neither free, nor fair, and ignore the result of the 21F referendum, and all of these without a plurality of political parties or organizations.
In fulfilling the intent of the IDC, Luis Almagro’s own concept: “WE MUST AVOID DOUBLE STANDARDS IN THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY . . .” must be applied. Americas’ democratic governments CANNOT ignore Bolivia’s crisis at the 49th General Assembly, they should all demand Secretary Almagro to report on Bolivia’s situation within the framework of; his obligations, the four reports on Venezuela, his assessments on Nicaragua and his statements regarding Cuba.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy”.
Published by Infobae.com Sunday, June 2nd. 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.