Wednesday, June 06, 2007

OAS and energy

I hoped there might be some debate at the OAS meeting about the energy direction the region should take, but it didn’t happen.

The Declaration of Panama explicitly endorses biofuels and participation of the private sector, but interestingly this did not seem to have generated any controversy. The RCTV case and the vote on Venezuela’s seat in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights got the bulk of attention. The Uruguayan delegation even questioned the entire discussion about energy and poverty.

Obviously, energy is only one of many challenges Latin America faces, but it deserves more public debate and scrutiny. In the NYT, former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo just published an Op-Ed, but it was about Chávez, and the only reference to the OAS meeting was about RCTV.


Camilo Pino 8:52 AM  

And yet the OAS is doing nothing about Venezuela, not even having a serious discussion beyond the Maduro-Rice exchange. What a lost of time.

Anonymous,  10:35 AM  

Camilo, I agree the OAS seems to be a very non-functional organization, whether we are talking about biofules, Venezuela, or democracy. Insulza seems to be an expecially poor leader for the OAS. Whenever Venezuela or Chavez is discussed Insulza always seems to say "nope nothing wrong there" I get the impression he is either afraid of Chavez or hopes the problem will fix itself. Neither of which is good.

Greg Weeks 1:30 PM  

I'm not here to defend the OAS, but I wouldn't agree that an energy conference should become a circus by debating Venezuela--Insulza made comments about press freedom, which were widely publicized. But we also shouldn't overestimate what the OAS can do--it can't, for example, send poeple to Venezuela without the government's permission.

Anonymous,  11:49 AM  

Energy is a huge forgotten issue. Despite record high oil prices, production across Latin America is falling - in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. Political management of funds in all of these national oil companies (along with a few other country specific factors) is limiting Latin America's ability to take advantage of price hikes, to increase funds either for investment in exploration and production, or for investment in their populations.

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