Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Luis Almagro Sounds Just Like Donald Trump

Under Luis Almagro's direction, the OAS issued a remarkable statement about the ongoing public debate about the statistical soundness of the OAS analysis of the Bolivian presidential election. It is whiny, paranoid, blustery, defensive, hyperbolic, unprofessional, unconvincing, and does considerable damage to an already damaged institution. It is a PR disaster, unless you went to the Trump School of Public Relations.

Almagro sounds exactly like Donald Trump: "Obviously, we recognize the NYT’s right to lie, distort, and twist information, data, and facts, and to mix truth and lies as often as it wishes." For him, all critics are biased liars and they're out to get him. And, in a another Trump-like twist, where you attack others for what you do, he blames others for interfering in Bolivian affairs. Beyond the NYT, he targets the Center for Economic and Political Research, though not by name. I've disagreed with CEPR analyses, but it's not reasonable to call it a "“propaganda tank” that "goes into the realm of tragicomedy." It's just pissy. He continues with several paragraphs of insults. It even gets weird, accusing the NYT of propaganda because of Herbert Matthews.

The statement is self-defeating. It's an embarrassment. The OAS has always suffered from accusations of pro-US bias. Having a Trumpish figure as its head only cements that image. It's time for new OAS leadership. Sadly, he was literally just re-elected to a second five-year term.


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