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Sunday, June 04, 2006

U.S. PRESENCE - OR ABSENCE - AT OAS MEETING WILL SURELY BE NOTICED

Despite repeated claims by the Bush Administration that the 34-country Organization of American States is a top priority, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not planning to attend this week's OAS annual meeting of foreign ministers in the Dominican Republic. She's too busy with Iran, U.S. officials say. Tom Shannon, head of Western Hemisphere affairs at the State Department, may not attend either, because of his son's high-school graduation. The U.S. will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State Bob Zoellick. He's highly respected in the region since his days as trade negotiator, but Rice and (if he doesn't attend) Shannon's absences will not go unnoticed at the meeting.

24 Comments:

Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Ordinarily I would be annoyed but in this case, I strongly support the U.S.'s decision not to show up at that OAS meeting.

Right now, Chile is handing Hugo Chavez a quid pro quo for his support of Insulza as OAS chief. Chile is supporting Hugo Chavez's place as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council right at a time when Iran is on the march and wants to blow up a good portion of the civilized world.

Chile is doing this because Hugo Chavez supported Insulza as OAS chief. One hand washes the other. Never mind that Europe or Israel will be blown up, Hugo needs to be repaid. What a crummy little cozy crony deal. And at a time like this!

And what a crummy little sign that the OAS is an actual democracy-advocating organization. Not only is Chile supporting Chavez at the UN, Insulza is continuously talking up Hugo Chavez's democratic 'credentials' (which are a fraud and the OAS has knowingly certified fraud since August 2004). Gee what a great deal Hugo Chavez got!

Why should we support such a sham that has no meaning other than Chile's and Chavez's ability to conduct little leadership deals for themselves on the world stage?

Why should we support this? I think we should send a message to the OAS that we consider them IRRELEVANT so long as Insulza and Chile and Chavez and the UN are in a setup where they continue to do little political favors for each other, covering each others' backs, giving Hugo Chavez an undeserved veneer of democratic respectability and power to do real damage on behalf of evil Iran in the United Nations.

It's no longer an Americas show that we have going on there in the UN. The whole world's safety is at stake and Chile is acting in an incredibly irresponsible manne3r by making crummy little deals with Hugo Chavez in exchange for leadership at the OAS.

I say cut them off at the knees.

The OAS has no credibility left. They stand for nothing. They are not about democracy. They are about cronies. Cut them dead. Let them talk to each other now, that's all they deserve.

When Chile and the OAS itself under Insulza want to act responsibly on the world stage, then we should talk.

Right now they don't.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

A.M. mora y leon:

I am sorry to disagree with you.

Presidents are elected to look after the well being of their citizens.

Chile is highly dependent on foreign oil and gas. With Morales making problems in Bolivia she has to be very realistic and do whatever is necessary to guarantee a steady flow of oil and gas to Chile.

That is what she is doing. Taking care of business.

Under the current conditions she can not afford to play regional and/or international political games. A real pity because I have the feeling she is very good at it.

As for the support of Chavez at the UN. She knows Chavez doesn't stand a chance. We would not allow it. Therefore, she basically had nothing to loose and much to win.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

mousqueton,


To link an article:


1)Pull up the article
2)Go up to address bar and left click
3)Click on copy
4)Then you can drop that cite where you want to


Ok did everyone just see me help an immigrant? Will i ever get credit for that!

10:12 AM  
Blogger VenePana.com said...

Multi-state organizations like OAS and UN usually don't add up to anything and have no credibility.

On the other hand, a no-show by the U.S. only solidifies the Latin American belief that the U.S.' interest in the region is not a priority.

This is the type of stuff Chavez lives off of. He'll play this one like a fiddle or more like a maraca.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Come on Mini-me!!

Don't you recognize a pick up line when you see it?

In any event, I believe we all are moved by your generosity. By the way; How is your day today?

3:27 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

Mousqueton,


Everyday I wake up is a good day. I am always surprised that my front door hasn't been kicked in by a group of crazy right wing Miami Cubans; hauling me out of my sleep in order to feed me to Broward County alligators. So yes another valuable day to spend ranting about these wicked right wing Miami Cubans, is a good day.

And no, I didn't even know you were trying to pick up on one of these right wing immigrants. I wouldn't let one get past my front door. That is why I have my large collection of private videos for my Friday and Saturday night entertainment. I will not be spending one dime on these Miami Cuban Chicano right wing illegal immigrant hungry women.

Also, thanks for the tip of the hat to my generosity. I have made a commitment to myself to measure my words more carefully. As I dont like the immigrant bloggers speculating that I harbor secret bigoted beliefs about them. Sometimes after blogging I often quietly reflect if I really do harbor some bigoted feelings about them. I have concluded that I do not, however. All I want is strict enforcement of our borders. But the immigrants disregard these statements. But anyhow thanks. I am off to the wild, wild, world of the blogisphere to find some right wing Miami Cuban Chicanos to pimp smack around!!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Latin America has been the Bush White House's quiet failure; unnoticed because of the Middle East, by a tremendous failure nonetheless

4:15 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

Kevin,

No actually it is Bush's obvious failure. Seems like anywhere he goes in Latin America there is a street riot. But Kevin it is important to remember who put him there. Yes, yes the corrupt right wing Miami Cuban exiles. Why? To punish Kennedy for his failed airstrikes 40 years ago.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous mini-me said...

But never fear, Bush is galloping to the rescue. He is gonna defend us from the gays. God Allmighty.

6:57 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

It's laughable to hear some of you rant about the irrelevancy and anti-US bias of the OAS. It shows your contempt for democracy and regional diplomacy. The OAS' history as a US dominated institution is not debatable. Because the region preferred a moderate Chilean over a Washington stooge is no reason to "cut them dead." That type of bullying will get the US nowhere even faster.

Mora, you're proposal to boycott the OAS until they replace its leadership to suit your radical Cuban friends is revealing. And your shock at the "backscratching" that goes on in international fora is hypocritical and naive. Or are you unaware of the much more crude arm-twisting the US utulizes behind doors?

I think the most interesting story out of the OAS meeting is the US' blocking of a resolution to "prevent anyone who has participated in the planning, preparation, financing or commission of terrorist acts from obtaining safe haven, protection or naturalization in their territories for the purpose of preventing extradition." The US actually pushed a nearly identical provision on the other countries of the world, but in our backyard there are different rules (think Posada Carriles.)

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

The US has never had much interest in Latin America. Face it.

Illegal immigration and some trade issues seem to be the only ongoing concerns. Oil has it's own path of discourse so the US doesn't really waste much time on Latin America.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Leftist:

International forums such as the OAS and certainly the UN are political markets. Everyone deals and tries to get a good bargain for their country and/or group. These markets are no temples and you would have to be very naïve to believe that morals and principles guide the trading. It is all about business. Off course sometimes the dealing gets a little loud and even rough. That is the nature of the market. Think of it as a NASCAR race were bumping between cars is called “rubbing” and is just part of the race.

We live in the same “barrio” and the US has the biggest house in the neighborhood. It is absolutely understandable therefore for quiet some rubbing to go on. We put pressure on you and, once in a while, you get together and slap us in the face.

I have to concede that we have a bully and clumsy personality. Maybe it is because we are “nouveau” rich or perhaps it has to do with the cowboy stereotype. We tend to shoot from the hip and pick up fights pretty easy. That is why we end up paying so much every time we make mistakes. What can I say, we are a work in progress and we certainly were not born in a gold crib so we do not have either the education or sophistication of the European countries. The good thing about us though is, that what you see is what you get.

Latin America could be worse. You could have England as a neighbor and while they are very educated and sophisticated there is no doubt in my mind that living in the “barrio” would be a real nightmare. Read some history, especially the chapter about the opium wars in China were England’s inhumane doings, while very “civilized”, were only comparable to those of the third Reich.

It is also true that we have neglected Latin America for a long time. You see, we were kind of tied up overseas trying to get us the whole world. At first we had a competitor but now that we are alone, it seems that we have bargained for more than we can chew. So, we will be coming home soon and expect us to spend much more time in the “barrio”.

I realize we will have to a lot of mending to do and certainly work on our cowboy manners as well as lack of respect for our neighbors. But, deep down, we are pretty sensible people so I think we will be able to succeed. You must concede that you are not a walk in the park either.

What we are not, is weak. We do not allow arms in the streets of the “barrio” we share and the last time someone tried to sneak them in we were ready to go to World War III in order to stop them.

We are also very keen about people trying to start fights in the “barrio” and pitting up everyone against us. Though futile, these attitudes are a waist of time, a waist of money as well as energy and more importantly, they end up creating more misery and poverty.

Something there is far too much in the “barrio” already and that we are in a good measure responsible because of our neglect. I believe that solving that main problem will be our first priority when we get back.

The only way to build a good relationship between everyone in the “barrio” though, will be if such is based on reason. We can handle standouts like the one of Chile with the UN security appointment and even open criticism like the ones expressed by Argentina and Brazil. We might not like them, but we can handle them. That is rubbing.

What we will not stand for is an antagonistic relationship the likes of what Chavez is promoting and/or experiments with idealistic and pervasive ideologies that are based on pitting up one against the other and/or exploiting the needs of the poor for chauvinistic purposes.

You have to be realistic and understand that this is not going to happen and should the need arise; we will do whatever it takes to stop and at whatever cost. Rational people only fight the causes they are sure they can win, avoid those that they are sure to loose and negotiate those that are questionable.

Who knows, we may even come around and understand socialism as a civilized political alternative for many of our neighbors, especially given the fact that it would take a zombie not to feel repulsed at the poverty and misery in some of our countries.

It will not be easy, but it is possible. For some reason, maybe ignorance or just because we are too spoiled by our riches, we have always been afraid of the word socialism. Nevertheless, we are sensible people and you find examples of that in the words of even some of our most conservative leaders. Such is the case of the following quote from the memoirs of Theodore Roosevelt.

“FELLOW-FEELING, sympathy in the broadest sense, is the most important factor in producing a healthy political and social life. Neither our national nor our local civic life can be what it should be unless it is marked by the fellow-feeling, the mutual kindness, the mutual respect, the sense of common duties and common interests, which arise when men take the trouble to understand one another, and to associate together for a common object. A very large share of the rancor of political and social strife arises either from sheer misunderstanding by one section, or by one class, of another, or else from the fact that the two sections, or two classes, are so cut off from each other that neither appreciates the other's passions, prejudices, and, indeed, point of view, while they are both entirely ignorant of their community of feeling as regards the essentials of manhood and humanity”….


It doesn’t get more socialistic than that.

I will concede though, that in the present time, those sentiments are not evident because we have elected inept and ignorant leaders who are very similar to, and, share the same personality traits with, the likes of Chavez. What can I say; we also make mistakes and we are paying for them.

This will come to pass though and it certainly is not an excuse for people like “leftist” to support and promote feverish positions such as the ones being promoted by Chavez.

Idealism is a trait of youngsters; realism is a trait of mature people and Latin America certainly has some growing up to do. That or, in the words of Ruben Blades in his song “Conmemorando”, will end up dreaming about …”la esperanza invincible del que ha sido un perdedor”… (The invincible hope of the looser).

2:21 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Mousqueton: I don't quite get ya. You quote a wonderful T. Roosevelt paragraph about the need to get rid of our country's divisions but justify the "biggest house" in the barrio being able to control the others.

You urge Americans to "understand socialism as a civilized political alternative for many of our neighbors," but treat Chavez as the anticrist.

I have to ask which specific Chavez position do you disagree with? Beyond style. What exactly has he done that you thought was a mortal sin, worthy of "rubbing" our friends like Chile and Ecuador with some of our heaviest sandpaper possible?

You, like even the LA Times, seem to take for granted that Chavez is an enemy of democracy. But Chavez's real enemy is clear = neoliberalism and capitalism. His democratic credentials are actually steller in many ways (today's venezuelans rate their democracy highest in latin america). He's been elected more, by higher magrins than about anyone. Participation is through the roof and the press and NGOs are as developed and oppositional (and free) as anywhere. And local participatory democracy is blossoming.

Is it just young idealism to want to erradicate illiteracy from your country (like Venezuela and now Bolivia)? Is it just irresponsible to want to earn the maximum value on your country's natural resources?

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

One for the road!

Mr. leftside:

Off course you don’t get me!

While traveling to Mexico, I met a fascinating Peruvian gentleman in the plane and had the chance, later on, to have dinner with him. His name was Mr. Hector Delgado Parker and he was the owner of a major television station in Peru.

He was indeed an exceptional communicator, highly educated, had a deep knowledge of both American and Latin American politics and, to my surprise, certainly very liberal by US standards. I say surprise, because I would have expected the owner of a media company in Peru to be rather conservative.

He also had this special ability to break down a complex issue into its basic elements and then explain it in very simple terms.

Though we talked about Latin American literature and music, most of our conversation was political. I am not going to bore you with all the details but I will certainly quote something he told me that was indeed an epiphany.

He said that, in the world, there were basically two major antagonistic forces and that as absurd and amazing as it may seem both wanted to accomplish exactly the same thing; the elimination of poverty.

On one side you have the radical political and business conservatives that advocate eliminating poverty by eliminating the poor and, on the opposite side, you have the radical liberal and communist interests advocating the elimination of poverty by eliminating the rich.

He, like most responsible liberals both in Latin America and the US, was in the middle, advocating for a society based on solidarity; a society in which the strong take care of the week. A society where priorities and policy are decided by negotiation and compromise; meaning by this, that no one gets all that they want but everyone can live with what they do.

He believed that the same principles were valid and should be the foundations over which to build a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship between Latin America and the United States. The only realistic approach possible if we were to have a long lasting relationship between so many countries with different interests and priorities

He was right. That is the only answer if we are to expect progress and better standards of living for everyone in our continent, particularly for those who have so little and/or nothing at all. He was right if we are to expect Democracy to set routes and flourish in the Continent; a democracy based on individual freedom and rights; a democracy that promotes independent thinking and encourages everyone to pursue their dreams and happiness.

He was right, and curiously enough, he advocated exactly what Theodore Roosevelt, though a conservative, advocates in the passage of his memoirs cited in my last comment.

That is why you do not “get me” Mr. leftside.

Because it is obvious that you have chosen to align yourself with one of the conflicting forces that advocate the elimination of each other for the good of the poor; an irrational and unrealistic force that will end up making the poor and the ignorant pay for your egotistical and chauvinistic ambitions.

A force that will meet its match since radical conservatives in the US, who share the same purpose and motivations, will indeed be glad to oblige.

A confrontation though, with an outcome that resembles the title of the novel from the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez; “Cronica de una Muerte Anunciada” (Chronicle of an Announced Death”).

Read the posting on my blog about Mr. Chavez, “Nothing is more dangerous than a thick who thinks”, where I describe a possible scenario for that outcome which, off course, will hurt Latin America.

As for your comment indicating that I despise Mr. Chavez, I am sorry to inform you that it is wrong. I could not despise Mr. Chavez because he is not that important.

I do despise though, what he represents, and I will explain this, in detail, with a posting in my blog.

Now, I have a plane to catch.

6:19 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Nice story about how liberalism will save the world. Unfortunately, in its original and neo form, it has not even shown an ability to come close. Liberals are not the enemy of poor people, but are naive (about poverty's roots and solutions) and paternalistic.

Socialism, at least most's vision, does not include eliminating the rich. But it is the only ideology that wants to eliminate poverty. In Venezuela, the rich are doing quite well but is it a crime the poor are the priority?

And again, exactly which "not important" Chavez ideas do you despise?

1:14 AM  
Anonymous the self-loathing miami cuban piglet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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