Organization of American States (OAS): Its Shameful History (Part III and Final)

Posted on May 29, 2009



Havana, May 29, 2009

“The shameful history of the OAS (III and Final)

• End of the ministry of colonies of the USA

FidelOASdeclaration(Fulfilling the demands of the people, Fidel rips up the shameful Declaration of San José. Cuba makes clear its position against the OAS.)

On September 2, 1960, after the OAS conspiracy against Cuba was established in San José, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro convened the Cuban people in a Great General Assembly in the José Martí Plaza de la Revolución, and read out the historical proclamation known as the First Declaration of Havana, whose eighth and final paragraph defined:

“…The National General Assembly of the People of Cuba reaffirms its faith in that Latin America will soon be marching, united and triumphant, free from the bindings that are turning its economies into wealth relinquished to U.S. imperialism and preventing its true voice from being heard at the meetings where domesticated foreign ministers form an infamous chorus led by their despotic masters.

Therefore, it ratifies its decision of working for that common Latin American destiny that will enable our countries to build a genuine solidarity, based upon the free will of each of them and the joint aspirations of all. In the struggle for such a Latin America, facing the obedient voices of those who usurp its official representation, there now arises, with invincible power, the genuine voice of the people, a voice that forges ahead from the heart of its tin and coal mines, from its factories and sugar mills, from its feudalized lands, where “rotos,” “Cholos,” “Gauchos,” “Jibaros,” the heirs of Zapata and Sandino, grip the weapons for their freedom, a voice that resounds in its poets and novelists, in its students, in its wives and children, in its vigilant elderly people. To that friendly voice, the Assembly of the People of Cuba responds: Present! Cuba will not fail. Cuba is here today to ratify, before Latin America and before the world, as a historical commitment, its irrevocable dilemma: Homeland or Death!”

In the midst of the applause and approval of more than one million hands, Fidel stated, “…Now, one thing is missing. And with the Declaration of San José, what do we do?” The people chanted, “We rip it up! We rip it up!” He took picked up that shameful declaration and ripped it up in front of the multitude. Things between Cuba and the OAS were clear. The final words of the declaration were the premonition of what was to happen almost half a century later, when the Cuban Revolution witnessed the death throes of the organization that lent itself to the dirty work of the imperialist gravedigger.


Discredited and devalued, in the midst of the fall of the empire, the OAS found its salvation in an initiative of President William Clinton who, in 1994, proposed summit meetings with all the heads of state and government in the hemisphere, whose organization, management and follow-up was entrusted to the Organization of American States, with the goal of rescuing it from the state of destitution into which it had fallen.

After the 4th Summit of the Americas (Mar del Plata-2004), where the Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement was buried, the OAS was dealt another resounding blow to add to its disastrous legacy. Its silence following Colombia’s raid into Ecuador on March 1, 2008, was a further blow while, like on so many other occasions, the yanki government protected the deed, while the Rio Group responded in place of the debilitated old body, leaving it forever without a voice.

During the 5th Summit in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad &Tobago, last April, the OAS equally failed to rise to the height of the circumstances surrounding events that led to the massacre of campesinos in Pando, Bolivia, in September 2008. It was the young Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) that made itself heard as the new vigorous voice defending the rights of the perpetually ignored. Once again, there was silence on the part of the bloc that the “Foreign Minister of Dignity” Raúl Roa described as the U.S. Ministry of Colonies.

Facing a reality already removed from it, the OAS found itself facing the solid position taken by countries in the region against Cuba’s exclusion from the Summit. Neither the OAS nor its general secretary Chilean José Miguel Insulza were able to prevent the questioning of U.S. policy on Cuba from being the central issue. As Fidel had predicted, Insulza had no awareness of the fact that “…the train passed a while back, and he still doesn’t know it….”

What happened there demonstrated to the yankis (accustomed to learn nothing from their failures) that the reality of Latin America and the Caribbean today is a very different one from that of 1960 and 1962, when the region functioned as a docile scenario. The OAS and its mouthpiece, Insulza, had not grasped that, and repeated the old practice of speaking on behalf of their master: The United States is willing to talk to them (Venezuela and Bolivia). However, it must be an unconditional dialogue. Many of the problems emerged because the conditions were heightened. And that is as true in the case of Cuba as of the others. And thus, it backtracked to what has been at the heart of the troubled relationship between the United States and the region, Cuba included: a dialogue with conditions, imposed by Washington.

The OAS imposed double standards and political and administrative corruption; it made democracies ungovernable, turned them into dictatorships, and when they were no longer useful, reconverted them into even more diminished and servile democracies, because in the new, neoliberal era, with transnationalized oligarchical capital, they were part of a much more sophisticated power structure, whose bases were not necessarily located in the presidential palaces or parliaments, but in continental corporations.


Washington and the OAS were consistent with their sinister past when they perceived the initial threats.

The organization that backed the 1952 coup d’état in Cuba; that was so inert in the face of the military action against the constitutionally-elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala; that backed the satrap Anastasio Somoza, and in 1961 failed to condemn the mercenary invasion of Cuba, just as it avoided any criticism of the coup d’état against Velazco Ibarra, the elected president of Ecuador, remained the same as the one that had indulgently sponsored the military invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965, the shipment of Green Berets and weapons to Guatemala in 1966, and to Bolivia in 1967, while it applauded the graduation of hundreds of torturers and repressors from the Panama Canal School of the Americas.

It contemplated U.S. government-sponsored coups in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. It was silent in the face of the death of Salvador Allende, in the face of the murder and forced disappearance of tens of thousands of South Americans during the sinister Operation Condor. It failed to promote peace in Central America during the 1980s, in a conflict that cost nearly 100,000 human lives. It did not back any investigation into the suspicious death of General Torrijos in Panama, nor did its ambassadors stop drinking their coffee during the inglorious invasions of Grenada in 1983, and of Panama itself in 1989.

It gave support to Pedro “El Breve” during the difficult days of April 2002 in Venezuela after the attempted coup, defeated by the exemplary response of the people who rescued their president. That attitude demonstrated how far the OAS could go in its hypocrisy and alignment with the imperialist power, by not accepting the genuine nature of Venezuela’s Bolivarian process, which had given it a just lesson right where it hurt the most, submitting itself like no other government to the scrutiny of its voters and emerging victorious.

When the OAS set out to question the democratic legitimacy of those elections in the interest of the U.S. policy of overthrowing the Bolivarian revolution, it exposed all of the immorality of its famous Democratic Charter.

All that was missing from this rotten record was the particular case of Bolivia, with abundant and clear evidence of U.S. involvement in a dirty war to overthrow Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of the Americas. The OAS and Mr. Insulza had (more than) sufficient prudery in terms of not calling things by their name (coup d’état, for example) but preferred to note, with ridiculous language, that…in Bolivia, things have reached the point where either an agreement is reached on immediately halting hostilities and moving to negotiations, or the situation will become very difficult…. In its complicity by omission, the OAS ignored the sufficient evidence that the DEA and CIA were behind plots to assassinate the president of Bolivia.


Throughout this long history, there is too much involvement with death, genocide and lies for the OAS to survive these times. It is a political corpse and should be buried as soon as possible. However, there is no lack of those who, in their zeal to bring back the dead, are seeking to rectify matters by “allowing Cuba to live,” restoring to it the place that never should have been taken from it within the OAS. All sorts of technicalities have been brought into play, such as the argument that it was the Cuban government, not the country, which was excluded, as if the legal entity of the state were separable from its very existence. The reality is, without the OAS, the United States would lose one of its principle political/legal instruments of hegemonic control over the Western Hemisphere.

Dismantling it and founding a new organization of Latin American and Caribbean countries, without the United States, would be the only way for Latin America and the Caribbean to decide their destiny without endangering their identity and making real progress toward a great united homeland, which Martí and Bolívar indicated as a historic goal.

As for Cuba, it does not need the OAS. It does not want it, reformed or not. Blood and infamy ooze out of every one of its pores. We will never return to that old run-down old house of Washington, witness to so much selling-out and so many humiliations. Raúl expressed it with the words of Martí: Before we enter the OAS, the North Sea would have to unite with the South Sea and a snake will be born from an eagle’s egg. •

Translated by Granma International