Almagro: I would not have liked Pinochet, Videla, in this room

The Angels. The Summit of the Americas has made clear the disunity of the countries, the grudges and the dogmas. An example is the forcefulness of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) regarding the non-invitation of the political heads of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, against the proposals of the Argentine Alberto Fernández and Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

“That idea that Latin America and the Caribbean, because of their proximity, share the same principles and goals is over,” said Christopher Sabatini, senior researcher at Chatham House.

In a few words Almagro left the Argentine Fernández out of place: I would not have liked (Augusto) Pinochet, (Rafael) Videla and Gregorio Álvarez to be in this room”.

Almagro thus compared the dictators of the last century in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay with Nicolás Maduro, Daniel Ortega and Miguel Díaz-Canel, and clarified that “the dictatorship is not a matter of ideologies.” And he called for “working together with the countries of the region and cooperating in favor of the human rights of citizens.”

Tensions between countries governed by the left and the right are nothing new in the region, and neither are scuffles with Washington. But the boycott of Mexico is striking.

“A country that depends on the United States for its exports does not travel to participate in the summit and the United States has to put up with it because it needs it to regulate migration at the border, in the fight against drugs and as a bridge with Latin America,” Sabatini summarizes, referring to the absence of López Obrador.

Diplomacy “has taken a backseat to the political theatricality of López Obrador” who has taken advantage of the Summit to “polish his leftist credentials,” says Ryan C. Berg, senior researcher for Latin America at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “But this diplomatic snub will not be forgotten.”


Alberto Fernández and Marcelo Ebrard called for Luis Almagro to leave the OAS. On the contrary, Almagro spoke of empathy: “Our empathy must be with the victims of dictatorships. Those are the peoples that should be represented here,” he commented during the second plenary meeting of the Summit of the Americas.

Almagro also addressed real problems that the region is experiencing. “There are extraordinary levels of poverty, democracy is the best answer to any problem”, highlighting the importance of “fair, free and transparent elections”.

He also mentioned a no less important topic: migration. “Their lives matter as much as anyone else’s.”

With information from AFP.

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