US Facing Defeat at Miami OAS Meeting
The top US priority at the annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Miami looks to be defeated as opposition is stirring among the member states of Latin American and the Carribean. This comes upon a deafeat in the organization last month, when a Chilean socialist beat out Washington's choice for Sec-Gen of the group (the first non-US approved chief in 24 years).
The US plan, to begin a mechanism of grading and shaming of not sufficiently "democratic" countries in the region, is claimed by CNN to be about "fragile" democracies like Haiti, Ecuador and Bolivia but everyone honest knows this is more about Venezuela and Cuba.. and any other would-be socialist governments.
What the plan would actually mean is of some question. Condoleeza Rice is talking about "accountability" on one hand and then not a matter of punishing on the other. But what would this system say of foreign governments funding these so-called "democracy advocacy organizations," who woud report on their own countries. Everyone knows that inevitably, politics will arise and sully the whole affair (like in Geneva or our leader's understanding of the International Criminal Court).
The basic problem in Miami is that no one trusts Bush or therefore, the US anymore to lecture anyone. Maybe they'd be different, if they hadn't been conned by both Democrats and Republicans for 50 years... and Bush hadn't backed the coup in Venezuela or relieved President Aristide in Haiti in two case studies of Washington think about democracy's place in the world.