Bolivian President Evo Morales took to social media Saturday to call out hypocrisy in the Organization of American States as it continues to set its sights on Venezuela while continuing to ignore an increasingly tense political situation in Paraguay years after the country suffered a coup.
Morales, who is in Cuba where he underwent throat surgery, directed his messages to OAS chief Luis Almagro, contrasting the secretary general’s push for the Democratic Charter to be invoked against Venezuela — which would trigger the country’s suspension from the bloc — to his on pressing human rights concerns and constitutional crises elsewhere in Latin America.
“Luis Almagro does not condemn walls against Latinos, nor the judicial coup against Dilma Rousseff, nor the increase in drug trafficking in Colombia. Is he complicit?” wrote Morales in his official Twitter account.
“Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, do you have moral or ethical authority to defend human rights and democracy?” he continued.
“The OAS should be a body of integration and not intervention,” he added. “Sovereignty and dignity of every is respected and defended.”
Morales’ message to Almagro comes less than a week after a controversial vote at the OAS, promoted by the secretary general, to attempt to invoke the Democratic Charter against Venezuela over alleged human rights abuses. Despite protests from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia against the meeting for violating the bloc’s own governing principles, the vote went ahead as scheduled, but ultimately Venezuela claimed “victory” as the charter was not applied.
However, several OAS countries have called for a fresh meeting to be held on Monday over Venezuela’s political situation in light of a controversy sparked by a Supreme Court ruling on the judiciary taking on parliamentary powers. The top court reversed its decision on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a political scandal in Paraguay that has led to at least one death and the Congress being set on fire has received far less attention. Senate approval through an irregular process this week of a highly controversial constitutional reform to allow for presidential re-election in the South American country has flared political tensions and sparked protests.
Morales questioned if the OAS will now turn its attention to Paraguay to raise alarm the same way it has over Venezuela.
“The Paraguayan Congress is rattling its people. Mr. Luis Almagro, secretary general of the OAS, now will there by a Democratic Charter for Paraguay?” Morales tweeted.
Paraguay, under right-wing President Horacio Cartes — whose rise to power was enabled by the 2012 parliamentary coup against ousted progressive President Fernando Lugo — has been one of the key countries pushing for Venezuela’s suspension from both the OAS and the South American sub-regional trading bloc Mercosur.
While the South American regional organization UNASUR applied political sanctions on Paraguay in the wake of the parliamentary coup, the OAS did not invoke its Democratic Charter against the country, as it did in the case of Honduras in the wake of its 2009 military coup against former President Manuel Zelaya.
The OAS has garnered criticism over the past year under Luis Almagro over the hypocrisy of repeatedly targeting Venezuela while turning a blind eye to concerning political and human rights situations elsewhere in the region, particularly rampant state complicity in drug trafficking violence in Mexico and the parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil.