Host: American Enterprise Institute. Internal division and transnational conflict in the Americas are testing the effectiveness of the Organization of American States (OAS). Confronted by controversial constitutional reforms underway in several Andean states, the bid for regional autonomy in Bolivia, the apparent collaboration of states with Colombian narcoterrorist groups, doubts about electoral processes, the divisive and polarizing international agenda of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez, and the expectations for a democratic transition in Cuba, pressures are mounting for the OAS. Notwithstanding the OAS role in the defense of democracy and constitutional order under the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter, many believe the Organization has fallen down on the job. Can the OAS function with a revolutionary Venezuela breaking the regional consensus? Are consensual solutions relevant in a divided Western Hemisphere? Have the OAS member states given the Organization’s leadership robust backing or spurred it to action? Is the United States making sufficient investment in the OAS?
These issues and others will be discussed by Ambassador Hector Morales, recently sworn in as U.S. permanent representative to the OAS. Peter DeShazo of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Carl Meacham of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will comment.
Added by insideronline on May 11, 2008