LATIN-AMERICA Social Crisis

OAS Blames Chile Protests on Maduro and Cuba

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Organization of American States has accused Venezuela’s President Maduro and the Cuban government of fueling protests in Chile. According to the organization, these governments want to disturb constitutional mandates. The OAS also expressed its concern over human rights violations during the protests.

In a statement last week, the Organization of American States (OAS) referred to the recent events in Chile. General-Secretary Luis Almagro said the OAS condemns a “pattern” of instability across Latin America. 

He claimed “the breezes of the Bolivarian regime driven by Madurismo and the Cuban regime bring violence, looting, destruction and a political purpose of directly attacking the democratic system and trying to force interruptions in constitutional mandates.”

Almagro highlighted Colombia, Ecuador and Chile as the ‘victims’ of such a supposed campaign.

In an earlier statement, Almagro said “the recent currents of destabilization of the political systems of the hemisphere have their origins in the strategy of the Bolivarian and Cuban dictatorships,” through what he called “exporting polarization and bad practices, to essentially finance, support and promote political and social conflict.”

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Political Influence? Left vs Right

Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaidó, claimed Nicolás Maduro has “the ability to finance…different groups and infiltrate protests to generate violence and destabilize the region.” 

He added, “it has been Maduro’s practice to send funding through the São Paulo Forum, just like Hugo Chávez at the time. That is no different from what they are trying to do today.”

At the São Paulo Forum – a conference of left-wing Latin American parties – on October 21 Nicolás Maduro referred to the protests and the accusations, saying “now the people of Chile are rebelling and rising, and the Chilean right-wing claims that it is Maduro’s fault. It is not Maduro’s fault, it is the fault of the International Monetary Fund and savage capitalism.”

Instability Across Latin America

Mauricio Jaramillo, a lecturer of Political Science, Government and International Relations at Rosario University in Colombia, told Turkish state news outlet Anadolu Agencyit is irresponsible to say that [the dictatorships are to blame] because it questions the real motivations of the protesters. It also questions that the economic systems in Ecuador, Chile, Colombia or Haiti are in crisis. Then, pretend that Venezuela, which is at such a high level of crisis, has any influence on these states, it seems absurd.”

What is the OAS?

The OAS was formed to aid unity in America and promote multilateral problem-solving.

All 35 American countries are OAS members. Key points the OAS focuses on are democracy, human rights, security and development. 

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Call for Peace

Last week’s OAS statement also refers to investigations into the alleged human rights violations in the wake of the recent protests in Chile.

Supporting the investigations, the OAS said “it is essential to contemplate the legitimacy of the population’s claims and to strengthen social policies,” and helping the Chilean government to “strengthen institutional, political and social dialogue for the purpose of finding the best and most needed solutions.”

The OAS also stressed the role the government and the armed forces play in encouraging peace. It recommended that “the state must never yield to violence within the framework of the democratic rule of law; to yield to violence or criminality would be to stop guaranteeing the democratic rule of law, public order and fundamental guarantees.”

Russian Influence

Also, the OAS said it is “essential to isolate the sources of violence that have both external and internal origin” to stop the brutality during the Chilean protests.

Michael Kozak, the head of US diplomacy for Latin America, revealed messages from Russia emerged, which aim to encourage insecurity and disorder among the Chilean population.

He told EFE news group, “we have identified false accounts on social media that originate from Russia where people are pretending to be Chilean. But in reality the messages are all trying to undermine Chilean institutions and society.”

Kozak clarified that “this does not mean that this was the cause of the riots in Chile.”

The protests in Chile culminated in a massive protest on October 25 with over a million participants congregating peacefully just in Santiago, in Plaza Italia. In all of Chile, thousands more were on the march.

It seems violence has calmed down, though, as massive demonstrations are sending an even stronger message to change the status quo.

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