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May 03, 2005

US Checkmated in the OAS
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

For the first time in the body's history, the Organization of American States has elected a President who was not the U.S.'s preferred candidate.  The OAS is hardly the world's most influential multilateral organ, and the U.S. - as the forum's largest contributor and Member State - will not lose its say.  But still, this points to some larger phenomena we've been discussing here, including the waning of American influence in our own backyard, the need for a clear progressive agenda directed at Latin American, and the deterioration of our multilateral relationships and influence.  The U.S. put a lot into trying to get its candidates elected to the post, but the rest of the region opted to assert its preferences instead.    The Administration is going to pains to play up Rice's role in brokering the ultimate compromise that led to the election of Chilean Interior Minister Jose Miguel Isuza, but the development is still being widely reported as a signal of waning American clout in the region.  Not a good sign.


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The OAS is hardly the world's most influential multilateral organ...


There's an understatement. Was the person chosen one the US opposed, or just not the one the US preferred? If it's the former, yes, there is slight cause for concern, if the latter, who cares?


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