CELAC: A Washington-Controlled OAS Alternative - by Stephen Lendman
Latin America is gradually disengaging from US hegemony.
On February 23, 2010, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was established at the Rio Group-Caribbean Community Unity Summit in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
CELAC comprises 33 regional countries. America and Canada are excluded. In July 2010, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Chile's Sebastian Pinera were chosen co-chairs to help draft organizational statutes.
CELAC calls itself "a nonprofit institution, established for critical analysis, design and management of the structural, political, cultural, economic and social factors that affect the various Latin American countries and Caribbean, as well as to their impact on the respective national societies, as in the hemispheric or universal joint."
"Its focus is on finding the best solution in the framework of respect for human rights, the democratic exercise, the overall progress, peace and peaceful coexistence and international levels."
To what degree fulfillment matches promises remains to be seen. On December 2, Time magazine writer Tim Padgett headlined, "Latin America's CELAC Summit: A Definitive Rejection of the US?" saying:
"....(I)n reality there's little revolutionary about CELAC." It's more symbolic than real, he believes. Nonetheless, member states "talk about (it) supplanting the Organization of American States (OAS), a body which Latin America has long regarded as Washington's lackey...."
Headquartered in Washington, the OAS was founded in April 1948. Its members include 35 countries. In deference to US interests, its history is long and shameful. Chartered to "promote democratic institutions," it defiled them for decades.