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López Obrador proposes to the US the replacement of the OAS and insists on including the entire continent in the Summit of the Americas


The Mexican president and Biden's envoy for the organization of the conclave seek to define a common position on economic matters, labor mobility and health

The president of Mexico, López Obrador, during his morning press conference today, at the National Palace, May 18, 2022. Mario Guzmán (EFE)

Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed this Wednesday to the Joe Biden Administration the replacement of the Organization of American States (OAS) by another regional body.

The Mexican president seeks to overcome the stage marked by that forum in the geopolitical balance of Latin America.

He had already raised it once, but this time he has transmitted his ambition directly to the United States.

In a meeting with the White House envoy in charge of the Summit of the Americas, Senator Christopher Dodd, the president reiterated his position with respect to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua and insisted on the opportunity to include all governments in the conclave.

In recent days, Washington has intensified contacts with the Executive of the neighboring country to try to negotiate its presence in the forum,

Dodd had planned to travel to Mexico City, but finally the meeting, which was also joined by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Ambassador Ken Salazar, was held virtually due to the US legislator being infected by covid.

The delegations have reviewed some of the central issues of the summit, from labor mobility to economic recovery, going through the problems of supply chains or the action plan against the pandemic.

“The conversation was frank and interesting”, Ebrard assured when leaving the meeting.

The idea of ​​that frankness has to do with the central approach of López Obrador.

Last week, the president made his attendance at the summit subject to the invitation of all Latin American leaders, including Cuban Miguel Díaz-Canel, Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro and Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega.

The White House has not yet announced a decision, but has openly shown its reluctance to include "countries that disrespect democracy."

At the same time, Biden has not given up on having his Mexican counterpart come to Los Angeles.

This was the main purpose of today's appointment.

“You may ask why we are giving Mexico so much attention.

It is because in a Summit of the Americas, Mexico is required to be there with its leadership,” Salazar had stated on Monday.

López Obrador has explained, according to the summary of the Secretary of Foreign Relations, "what are the concepts" that are behind his decision.

It is, first of all, about “entering a new historical stage, laying the foundations for a new relationship”.

"In fact, what he raised today is what he said on the anniversary of Simón Bolívar last year," the foreign minister continued.

"He proposed that the American continent should go towards a kind of union, with different rhythms and modalities, but more or less what Europe did at the time and leave behind other stages of history more symbolized by what the OAS has been."

The US Administration has not yet ruled on the meeting, in any case Ebrard has assured that the contacts will continue "in the next few hours and in the next few days".

"The important thing is that the dialogue is very good," he added.

He himself had acknowledged before arriving at the National Palace to participate in the videoconference that "it is complex to organize a summit of this nature: 35 countries, each with their positions, their presentations or differences."

López Obrador's request not to exclude anyone has been joined by the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, that of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, that of Bolivia, Luis Arce, and that of Honduras, Xiomara Castro.

And the one from Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, announced that he will not travel to Los Angeles due to criticism from the White House of the attorney general of the Central American country.

The Organization of American States has had tensions with several countries, but the Mexican government is one of those that has clashed the most with the organization, which accompanies the organization of the Summit of the Americas with a technical secretariat.

López Obrador had already called to weigh the replacement of the OAS, created in 1948, "by a truly autonomous body, not a lackey of anyone, but a mediator at the request and acceptance of the parties in conflict in matters of human rights and democracy."

That is, in short, his argument to justify his absence from the conclave.

"Are we going to continue with the policy of two centuries ago, of manifest destiny or of America for the Americans, understanding that America is the United States?", He recently asked at a press conference.

The OAS positions on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are also known.

Its main champion is the organization's secretary general, Luis Almagro, who has led the regional forum since 2015 and will remain in charge until 2025. Mexico has also unequivocally criticized the role of the former Uruguayan diplomat in the 2019 elections in Bolivia.

Foreign Minister Ebrard attributed to him, for example, some "very dubious and questionable actions to intervene in internal processes, as was the case in Bolivia, which was disgraceful."

The pressure that Almagro exerted then led to the resignation of Evo Morales, forced by the break with the Army.

Mexico was the first country to welcome the former president and is also one of the countries that has worked hardest for a diplomatic solution to the Venezuelan crisis.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-05-18

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