Monday, June 1, 2009

FRD Press Felease on OAS Resolution

For Immediate Release
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Dobbs Ferry, NY

Contact: John McAuliff, 914-231-6270, 917-859-9025


Administration Puts Partisan Spin on OAS Charters


“Editors should give serious attention to how reports of the OAS Assembly in Honduras characterize the debate on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding Cuba’s membership,” urged John McAuliff, the head of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, a New York based non-governmental organization that advocates normalization of Washington-Havana relations.

First, Cuba is still a member of the OAS. It was suspended, not expelled, in 1962 as the result of an intense and still-resented campaign by a US government more dominant than today. Justifications for suspension did not include internal democracy or human rights and are now moot.”

“Second, virtually all OAS members support ending Cuba’s suspension without conditions, not only more left-leaning governments.”

“Third, nothing in the OAS Charter, or subsequent documents, including the Inter-American Democratic Charter (IADC) precludes Cuba taking up full and active membership. The IADC is quite explicit about measures to be taken in the face of ‘unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order of a member state’, i.e. a military coup. It incorporates aspirations that all members be representative democracies with respect for human rights but does not affect restoring the status of an existing member with a different political orientation.”

“Fourth, the US embargo and forced transition agenda with Cuba seriously violate the OAS Charter, which is quite explicit that ‘No State...has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference...against its political, economic, and cultural elements.’" (Article 19, see also 3e and 20)

McAuliff concludes, “Secretary Clinton should abstain if the OAS votes on ending Cuba's suspension without conditions. She will demonstrate we are listening and serious about a new collaborative role, even if domestic politics bars joining the affirmative vote. Finally the Administration must show Sen. Menendez (D, NJ) that he cannot control US foreign policy with bluster and threats to cut off OAS funding.”

Additional background
from two American University professors here
and from FRD here and here


[The Fund for Reconciliation and Development was founded in 1985 to bring about normal US relations with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and, in the last decade, Cuba. John McAuliff visits Cuba regularly, most recently in January and May of 2009.]

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