Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Saturday, July 14, called for “a new coexistence” of all the countries of the Americas to replace the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS).
Speaking before a summit of the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at Chapultepec Castle, the president went on to state the OAS model “is exhausted and has no future.”
The 35-member OAS, to which Mexico belongs, has repeatedly earned AMLO’s ire over its stance against Venezuela and its questioning of electoral processes in socialist-leaning countries, especially in the case of Bolivia’s 2019 vote, which the OAS said was rigged, leading to the resignation of then-President Evo Morales.
Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who is generally seen as AMLO’s favorite pick for succession, has also openly insulted OAS President Luis Almagro, calling him inefficient and claiming that he practically inspired a coup in Bolivia.
Instead of continuing within the OAS, which was founded in 1948, AMLO proposed that Latin American states do “something similar to the European Union, but attached to our history, our reality and our identities.”
In his speech, he said that a new regional institution could become “a truly autonomous body, not a lackey of anyone, but a mediator at the request and acceptance of the parties to conflicts in matters of human rights and democracy.
Notwithstanding, AMLO’s proposal to dissolve the OAS was not received well by the majority of the nations in attendance, and Colombia immediately rejected the idea.
Highlighting what he called Cuba’s “forbearance” in the face of the U.S. economic blockade imposed more than 60 years ago, while at the same time ignoring the growing protests of the Cuban people against their communist leaders, AMLO said that “the people of Cuba deserve the prize of dignity.”
He also said that Cuba is an “example” for the rest of the continent.