Condeleeza Rice hit the nail on the head at the Organization of American States meeting in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel,
In a thinly veiled reference to oil-rich Venezuela, which is engaged in escalating tensions with the United States, Rice said the OAS “must insist that leaders who are elected democratically have a responsibility to govern democratically.”
Since our leader wasn’t elected democratically, he has no responsibility to act as if he was. This explains everything.
But really, aren’t people getting sick of this stuff? The United States wants oil so it tells the U.N. or OAS or NATO that the leader of a country that has it is a bad guy. Boom, now the U.S. can go in and take what it wants.
The OAS meeting comes at a time when left-of-center leaders are ascendant in Latin America, having campaigned against old ills–corruption, nepotism, economic inequality– that democracy has failed to cure.
The last time the United States hosted an OAS summit, in 1974, almost half the 23 member states were military dictatorships, whereas all but Cuba have democratic governments in place today. Yet the transition is perceived by many in the hemisphere as a futile experiment in combating poverty. One in three people in Latin America lives on less than $2 a day.
Our hypocrisy is nowhere more evident than in our dealings with Haiti, as Jean-Robert Lafortune, chairman of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition in Miami, pointed out.
He criticized the United States for denying protective immigration status to Haitians while their country combats chaos in the streets and storm damage.
“As Haiti continues to spiral into insecurity, the Department of Homeland Security continues to apprehend and deport, constantly, Haitian nationals to their homeland,” he said.
We are advocating gathering intelligence (an oxymoron if there ever was one) on our neighbors, just as we are on our own citizens.
The United States is proposing that the OAS…set off early warnings that would avert the kinds of crises that led to the ouster of presidents in Bolivia, Ecuador and Haiti in just three years.
Some Latin American groups, however, have said they’re not keen on a list that would embarrass individual countries. Nor is it clear how the OAS would implement new policies given limited funding and financial strains.
Same old stuff. I can hear Bush saying OAS is ineffective so it’s O.K. to ignore them, and then send John Bolton in to represent us. I cannot wait until 2008.