Founded in 2011, CELAC, or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, is a multilateral group of 33 countries from across the Western Hemisphere that excludes Canada and the United States It was created to be an alternative forum for Latin American countries. Inaugural leaders, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, envisioned the group as a counterweight to the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), which they viewed as dominated by the United States. CELAC, unlike the OAS, allows Cuba to be a member. Its stated goals are to promote regional integration and cooperation. CELAC represents 600 million people. The Seventh Summit of CELAC leaders was held Tuesday, January 24 in Buenos Aires hosted by CELAC President Pro-Tempore Alberto Fernandez, current President of Argentina.
On Monday October 10, when the nation celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day, D.C.-based peace activists transformed a prominent statue of Queen Isabella I of Castile by dressing her in traditional indigenous garments. The statue stands in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood at the entrance to the headquarters of the Organization of the American States (OAS). Queen Isabella sponsored Christopher Columbus’ 1492 expedition that led to the extermination of millions of indigenous peoples, laying the foundation for Spanish colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The statue was gifted to the OAS in 1966 by the fascist leader of Spain, Francisco Franco. General Franco clearly looked to Queen Isabella as the embodiment of his own ideals, and of the right of Christian Europeans to rule as dictators over other peoples.
This Wednesday, October 5, various international websites reported that Juan Guaidó’s “envoy” to the general assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Gustavo Tarre, decided not to attend after learning that 11 nations intended to expel him from the Lima summit. Among the countries that requested the expulsion of Juan Guaidó’s illegitimate diplomat in the OAS are Mexico, Bolivia and Antigua and Barbuda. The representatives of those countries showed their intention to not recognize Tarre in the US-controlled regional body’s general assembly. In fact, in the last assembly of the organization in November of last year, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia rejected the presence of Guaidó’s envoy.
The People’s Summit for Democracy began in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8. However, it is much more than just an alternative to the Biden administration’s and the Organization of American States’ Summit of the Americas. The Summit of the Americas has historically been a place for the United States, which plays a central role in the OAS and which continues to exploit the Americas for resources and markets, to present its own agenda for the region. But this year, beginning with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, many Latin American leaders across the continent decided to boycott the summit entirely. The boycott was a protest against the exclusion of the Latin American nations that the United States is most hostile towards: Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Empire denies its own existence. It does not exist as an empire but only as benevolence, with its mission to spread human rights and sustainable development across the world. However, that perspective means nothing in Havana nor in Caracas, where ‘human rights’ has come to mean regime change, and where ‘sustainable development’ has come to mean the throttling of their people through sanctions and blockades. It is from the standpoint of the victims of empire that clarity comes. US President Joe Biden is to host the Summit of the Americas in June, where he hopes to deepen Washington’s hegemony over the Americas. The United States government understands that its project of hegemony faces an existential crisis caused by the weaknesses of the US political system and the US economy, with limited funds available for investment within its own country, let alone for the rest of the world.
From June 6 to 10, the Biden administration will host the 9th 'Summit of the Americas.' The event, organized by the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), is turning out to be another huge foreign policy embarrassment for President Biden. In response to the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, an unprecedented number of Latin American and Caribbean Nations are refusing to attend. Clearing the FOG speaks with Claudia de la Cruz about this new era of solidarity and opposition to US hegemony. Social movements are organizing a counter summit, the People's Summit, in Los Angeles and a Workers' Summit in Tijuana. Countries are beginning to abandon the OAS and meet using CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) as an alternative formation. This is another nail in the coffin of the US' unipolar power and a sign that the multipolar world has arrived.
The Workers Summit of the Americas meeting, in Tijuana, Mexico, offers a space to join with all the peoples of “Our Americas.” We will counteract the OAS Summit of the Americas organized by the U.S. Department of State in Los Angeles. The countries of the continent besieged by the USA (Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, among others) will not participate in the OAS farce. The Workers’ Summit gives us the opportunity to invite our comrades in struggle from North America who want to participate. Tijuana is a meeting place with the progressive forces of the South and the North at a moment when the working class is facing the most unprecedented challenges in the history of humanity.
The United States will host the Ninth Summit of the Americas June 6-10 in Los Angeles, California with the theme of “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future” for the Western hemisphere. This Summit comes at a time of growing disenchantment in Latin America and the Caribbean with an inter-American system rigged to advance US corporate interests, attack left and left leaning governments, and once again plunge the region into US-NATO cold war politics. The Biden administration’s approach to the June Summit, by failing to recognize the firm regional commitments to sovereign equality, integration, and engagement with a multipolar world, has turned the planning and implementation of the Summit into a space of North–South confrontation.
Nicaragua’s Sandinista government expelled the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) on April 24. Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry denounced the Washington-based organization as a “deceitful agency of the State Department of yankee imperialism,” calling it the US “Ministry of the Colonies,” which exists to support “interventions and invasions, legitimizing coups d’etat in various forms and modes.” On April 26, the Sandinista government further announced that it had expropriated the building where the OAS had offices in the Nicaraguan capital Managua. This office was declared public property, and will now be used to build a “Museum of Shame” that documents imperialist crimes committed against Nicaragua and Latin America.
On April 24, 2022, Nicaragua’s Sandinista government officially booted the Organization of American States (OAS) out of their country. Foreign minister Denis Moncada called the OAS a “deceitful agency of the State Department of yankee imperialism” and in an official statement, the Nicaraguans proclaimed that they “will not recognize this Instrument of Colonial Administration, which does not represent at any time, the Sovereign Union of Our Latin and Caribbean America, and that…violate[s] Rights and Independences, sponsoring and promoting interventions and invasions, [and] legitimizing coups.” In response to Nicaragua’s break with the OAS, many in the imperialist west will undoubtedly speak self-righteously about the Central American republic’s lack of “democracy.”
The government of Nicaragua has announced the expulsion of representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the closure of its offices in the country. “We will not have a presence in any of the instances of that diabolical instrument of the misnamed OAS (..) neither will this infamous organism, consequently, have offices in our country. Its local branch has been closed” reads the communique released by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday afternoon. Back in November, the Sandinista government communicated that it would begin the typically two-year withdrawal process from the OAS. Today’s statement reads; “from this date we cease to be part of all the deceitful mechanisms of this monstrosity”. Police were seen guarding the now closed former offices of the OAS in Managua following the announcement.
The Nicaraguan delegation to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) firmly and categorically denounced, on Friday, February 18, the OAS’ notification for scheduling a special session of its member states to address “the situation in Nicaragua.” Previously, the OAS had issued a declaration condemning alleged lack of legal guarantees in Nicaragua and what it considered as human rights violations perpetrated by the government of Nicaragua. Such declarations of the OAS referred to the judicial procedures being carried out in Nicaragua against some of the promoters of the violent 2018 coup attempt that was backed and financed by the United States. “We want to make it very clear that we will not be an issue on Washington’s ideological agenda, we are not a political experiment, we are not anyone’s backyard, nor are we part of the Ministry of Colonies,” the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government declared in its statement.
Almagro and the OAS lit the fuse for the 2019 coup in Bolivia. They falsely claimed the presidential results showing Evo Morales being re-elected were “inexplicable”, which set off unrest and activated a plot that overthrew him. These claims were so thoroughly debunked that members of the U.S. Congress requested an investigation into the OAS’s role in the coup. Almagro immediately recognized the coup government, which committed “summary executions and widespread repression” during its year in power. After saying nothing about the coup regime’s victims, the OAS issued a statement condemning Bolivia’s judicial system the day after coup leader Jeanine Añez was arrested. This blatant interference in the domestic affairs of a member state runs counter to the OAS charter and led Mexico to chastise the OAS for its behavior towards Bolivia.
This is Ben Norton with The Grayzone. I am in Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry, and I just sat down for an interview with Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. We talked about Nicaragua’s historic decision to leave the Organization of American States, and other regional issues here in Latin America. And we discussed how Nicaragua is part of a movement of countries around the world that are trying to create a new political and economic architecture, resisting US unilateralism and sanctions. Good morning, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, thank you for the interview. On November 19, you announced that Nicaragua is leaving the OAS. Can you explain why Nicaragua made this historic decision?