Saturday, June 24, 2017

U.S. Influence in the OAS is Low

Mark Weisbrot has a post at Venezuela Dialogue arguing that the OAS is serving as a U.S. puppet as it tries to overthrow the Venezuelan government. He has questions that he clearly believes prove his point if you answer them. One in particular caught my attention:

How about the fact that the US government, led by Donald Trump and his allies filled with hatred for Venezuela, has more control over OAS decision-making at this time that it has had in decades?

The problem with this question is that it comes right as the Trump administration lost an OAS vote for the IACHR and the candidate was highly qualified by any standard. Of course, the U.S. also recently failed on more than one occasion to get enough support for action against the Maduro government.

I would actually amend his question as well, because I don't think Donald Trump hates Venezuela. He doesn't care about Venezuela at all. He will take pictures with people that Marco Rubio shuffles into the Oval Office and periodically continue the Obama targeted sanction policy, but I haven't seen anything beyond that. He does not care enough about Venezuela to do any serious work at the OAS to push U.S. policy.

This is all irrespective of whether you think his specific actions toward Venezuela (mostly confined to continuation of Obama's targeted sanctions) are good or not. My point is that evidence suggests that U.S. influence over the OAS is lower than it's been in some time. I suppose you could argue that the U.S. is telling Luis Almagro what to do, but this is a guy with decades of foreign policy work in the Uruguayan government, including as ambassador to several countries. Claiming he has no agency and no independent thought seems a stretch.


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