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Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:40 PM

Latins Rally to Restore Human Rights Panel (Right wing AEI bs)

The Online Magazine of the American Enterprise Institute

Latins Rally to Restore Human Rights Panel
By Roger F. Noriega
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Filed under: World Watch, Government & Politics

Latin American countries have finally rallied and rejected a bid by leftist regimes to silence the region’s human rights watchdog. Now regional democracies must restore the organization’s credibility after years of yielding to Chavistas.

In what might be remembered as the end of the line for Chavismo as a regional political force, last week key Latin American countries soundly rejected a bid by leftist regimes to silence the region’s human rights watchdog. Those democratic nations – along with the United States – must now retake some of the momentum that they ceded to Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez’s destructive agenda.


The latest assault on the commission came as Ecuador, Venezuela, and like-minded states proposed “reforms” that would have severely restricted the IACHR’s budget and taken away tools that it has long used to hold governments accountable for rights violations. Many democratic governments sat on the sidelines rather than be bullied by Chávez’s rabid rabble, but human rights groups and free press advocates resisted valiantly. Members of the U.S. Congress from both parties weighed in forcefully to defend the commission, and the Washington Post helped ensure that the attack received prominent attention in the U.S. print media.


In June 2009, virtually every government in the region helped scrap the historic Inter-American Democratic Charter when they advocated the re-admission of the Castro dictatorship in Cuba to the ranks of the OAS. They also went along as the OAS ignored systematic human rights abuses in leftist states while sanctioning governments that did not tow the Chavista line. Chávez bought, bullied, and berated his way to exaggerated influence in the Americas. Much damage could have been avoided if governments that opposed the Chavista agenda had simply defended their principles.

It is possible that Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela will regroup to launch another attack on the human rights system. However, with Chávez dead and his heirs preoccupied with their own survival at home, it is likely that this destructive diplomacy will run out of steam.


Roger F. Noriega is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; he was assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and ambassador to the Organization of American States in the administration of former President George W. Bush from 2001-2005.


The what? The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights? Lol, this is the same "Human Rights" organization that refused, absolutely refused, to condemn the 2002 coup against Chavez. Refused to do anything when the US, Francs and Canada kidnapped the legitimate President of Haiti to install their puppets.

The assholes even dare demand that national Supreme Courts reverse decisions that don't suit the US.

Say, where were there guys for the 2000 coup in the US? Bradley Manning- any word? Guantanamo? Embargo against Cuba? UN committed massacres in Haiti? The coup against Zelaya? Against Paraguay?

Of course not. Headquarters are in Washington DC.

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Reply Latins Rally to Restore Human Rights Panel (Right wing AEI bs) (Original post)
Catherina Mar 2013 OP
Peace Patriot Mar 2013 #1
Catherina Jun 2013 #2

Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 11:51 PM

1. I wouldn't give that much space to Robert Noriega! He is one bad, bad dude!

For instance, he ENGINEERED the coup against Aristide in Haiti. He is a major Bushwhack/ Miami Mafia 'made man."

He has no credibility AT ALL. In fact, we can apply my rule of thumb for Bushwhacks directly to him: Whatever he says, the opposite is true; and whatever he accuses others of doing, he is doing or planning to do.

I suppose it's useful to review this "Alice in Wonderland" garbage from time to time--just to know what the worst of the worst are up to. And I don't often suggest suppression. But, jeez, Robert Noriega? At length? My mind boils.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 09:44 PM

2. And right on cue, the State Department

Background Briefing en Route to Guatemala

Special Briefing
Senior State Department Official
En Route to Guatemala
June 4, 2013

MODERATOR: All right. Good afternoon, everyone. We’re en route to Antigua, Guatemala for the OAS General Assembly. We’ll also have a bilateral program with the Guatemalans. And here we have a Senior State Department Official to go ahead and give us an overview of the Secretary’s participation over these two days. So I’ll turn it over to you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you. So this is the annual event, big event, of the OAS, the General Assembly held every year in May. I think the Secretary’s participation really does speak to the importance of the OAS. It’s the only organization in the hemisphere that has universal membership. Remember, of course, that Cuba is still a member; it’s just suspended. So it is all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere.


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The other things that I think the Secretary is going to want to focus on in this General Assembly: One is the election that’ll be held on the 6th just after we leave for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Inter-American Human Rights System is really the crown jewel of the organization. It contains the commission and the Inter-American Court. You may know that the Inter-American Declaration on the Rights of Man actually was implemented seven or eight months before the Universal Declaration on Human Rights at the UN, so it was the first of those human rights treaties. And it’s been under attack. The Inter-American System on Human Rights has been under attack by lots of countries over the last year or two, and we feel very strongly that we need to support that organizational structure – the commission, the court, the special rapporteurs that have been selected on various issues. And one of the things that we’ll be talking about is the election.


The third aspect, I think, is always a part of the OAS General Assembly, but is even more important to Secretary Kerry because of what he has said about the organization, is the reform effort we’ve been undertaking with the OAS to try and make it do really two things. One is focus on its core missions, its core missions being democracy, human rights, security issues, and development. And the second is to ensure that it focuses on those things in the most proficient and cost-effective way. The U.S. obviously pays the largest share of the OAS’s budget, and it’s particularly important to us in a time of budget constraints that the OAS be using those funds responsibly. So the Secretary will definitely talk about the importance of focus and efficiency at this organization.


QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: (Inaudible.) He’ll also be seeing Colombian Foreign Minister Holguin, the new Peruvian Foreign Minister Rivas – what other ones we’ve got set up – and he’ll see others, obviously, during this.

He will probably speak briefly with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister. We’ve said, obviously, that we’d like a positive relationship with them, and Foreign Minister Jaua, I believe, is coming to the OAS. So those are the other bilateral meetings.


QUESTION: I interested in asking about the reform of the OAS, I mean, this is a big issue and I think clearly the Secretary’s been talking about it for a long time. What kinds of steps would like – is he going to be pushing for now? I mean, because it seems that the election of this human rights committee falls into that whole --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It does. It does. But I think when we talk about – the first two things I mentioned as core missions of the OAS were democracy and human rights. There’s nothing that exemplifies that better than the commission. The commission, for example, I think this is an important distinction, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has universal membership. Everybody’s a member. We have many, many cases against us, and we engage in that process very actively. So it isn’t a question of us not being part of that system. The court, on the other hand, is only for those members who’ve ratified the convention – the Inter-American Convention – which, as you may know, the U.S. signed in 1977, but has never ratified. So we are not members of the court, but we are members of the commission.

And I do think that is a quintessential part of the OAS that needs to be strengthened. That’s why we participated in that special General Assembly back in March where we were very pleased with the outcome. But the question is: Is the OAS doing other things that really aren’t central to its mandate? And I think that has been the case on occasion in the past.

The other thing is, this is also the time every year when the budget comes up for passage. Our strong belief, and I think this is probably how it will come out because it’s trending this way, is that the OAS right now has to have a zero-growth budget. There aren’t, as far as I know, any countries in the hemisphere who are keen to pay a lot more. So we’ve got to work with what we’ve got. We have to have a no-growth budget that focuses on those four priority areas of the OAS, and that’s what he’s going to be trying to advance.


The other area that we’ve been focused on for the last couple of years is, frankly, the OAS’s personnel structure. Do they need as many people as they have? More people over the last number of years have been moved into – I’m not even sure what the category’s called – it’s the Secretary General’s sort of personal staff, if you will, who are not part of the formal structure where you compete for entry, et cetera. That’s not the most efficient way to run the office. So it’s those kinds of things that I think we’ll be looking at. It’s the same kind of scrub, frankly, we’d give our own budgets.

QUESTION: About the meeting with the Venezuelan Minister, who’s idea was it? Was this issued from you, through the State Department? Or was it his idea to meet?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think the Secretary is interested in trying to find out, as we’ve said, if we can have this positive, more functional relationship. The Venezuelans did seek a meeting, and so we said we we’re willing to do a brief meeting.

QUESTION: But what is going to be the subjects? Is it something to do with the return of ambassadors? Do you think it’s too soon? Oil? What is –

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, I think one of the things we’ve said is we want to try and find a way forward with the Venezuela. We want to see if there are areas that we can discuss. We’ve mentioned that they’re not necessarily exclusive. We mentioned counternarcotics, counterterrorism, the commercial relationship, including energy. We’d like to have those conversation on things that are of mutual interest. If the Venezuelan Government has other subjects that they want to bring to the table, we’re willing to consider that. Whether we start with ambassadors right away or return ambassadors later, I don’t know the answer to that yet. I don’t think that – I think we’ll have to see how the conversation goes.

But I also think we’ve made very clear that we’re not going to pull our punches on democracy issues. That’s a clear part of our agenda all over the hemisphere, and we still have concerns about how the deep divisions in Venezuela after the last elections get resolved.



QUESTION: Because of just anti-U.S. sentiment?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I will tell you right now – yes. There has been a concerted effort – and we saw it last March at the special General Assembly – did you stay in there all night? You were in there all night. No, you left.

QUESTION: No, I missed that.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: You weren’t even there. Some of us stayed there till one in the morning. There has been a concerted attempt by some countries, especially those in ALBA, to push the U.S. out of the commission because we have not ratified the convention, which is completely contrary to the rules of the commission. The commission is universal jurisdiction. The court is only for those members who ratified. So they have mounted an effort to keep the United States off the commission because we’re not part of another body. That makes no sense, but frankly, that’s something that we have to worry about because we don’t believe that’s a valid argument, and most other countries don’t either. But we’ve had push-back.


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yeah. And in fact, some of those countries have stimulated meetings over the past six months of only those members of the OAS who have ratified the convention to talk about how they line up support for only members who have ratified the convention. They’ve been working at it.


QUESTION: Just looking again into Venezuela, what is likely to be Secretary Kerry’s message to the Venezuelans right now?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think his message is going to be that we would like a more positive, functional relationship on issues that we both are interested in talking about and that we would also like to see a process for addressing the concerns of 7-plus million voters who don’t yet feel like their aspirations, their democratic hopes, are being addressed by the government. So the message will be both on principle, on democracy, and on functional sort of practical steps that we can take to --

QUESTION: So just for guidance, the Administration’s nowhere near recognizing the government in any way?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: We don’t recognize governments.

QUESTION: No, no, (inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Are we talking to this government representative? Yes. Do we still have an Embassy open in Caracas? Yes. I don’t know what recognition means. If it means pronouncing on who won Venezuela’s election, that’s for the Venezuelans to do.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) is the status now (inaudible) internally in Venezuela?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I actually saw something yesterday or the day before about their CNE, their electoral tribunal, saying I think they had just about finished or almost finished their recount. I know that the opposition does not believe that the recount was fully done, that it was properly done compared with non-machine tallies. So I don’t know exactly where that stands. But my point is still the same. You still have a dispute, if you will, between a very large percentage of Venezuelans who voted one way and don’t yet feel that this is resolved.

STAFF: Excuse me, ma’am. We’ll have to stop the conference because we’re in meal service (inaudible) shortly. We’re trying to give it to you (inaudible).

QUESTION: That’s fine (inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: They want you guys to eat.


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