25 May 2015, QUITO (TSR-Telesur) – Rafael Correa warns that the threat of coups against progressive governments are real and a respect for human rights is urgent.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa called Sunday for the creation of a Latin American human rights system that respects the particularities of the region and where only countries that have ratified the American Convention of Human Rights should participate.
“We should see that the Americas, to the north and south of the Rio (Grande), are different,” said President Correa during his annual address to the nation from the halls of the National Assembly.
Correa has frequently criticized the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which is affiliated with the Organization of American States, a body that is generally seen as acting in the interests of U.S. foreign policy. The Ecuadorean head of state has taken particular issue with the fact that the IACHR is headquartered in the United States, despite the fact that the U.S. has not ratified its convention and thus is not subject to its jurisdiction.
President Correa warned that a robust human rights institution based in the region is needed as the threat of coups and destabilization by both domestic and foreign elites is still a present danger.
“South American cannot discard the possibility of coups, including traditional ones, the desperation of the elites is dreadful, just look at what’s happening in Brazil, where people shamelessly call for a military intervention against the constitutional government,” exclaimed Correa.
In addition to calls for a coup in Brazil, coups against progressive leaders have been attempted in Venezuela and Ecuador. Leftist leaders were successfully removed in Honduras, and Paraguay in the past decade. In the face of these coups, the Organization of American States (OAS) gave a tepid response. Correa attributes this to the disproportionate influence of the United States and Canada over the OAS.
In an effort to move away from this influence, regional leaders created the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), both of which deliberately exclude the United States and Canada.
Correa said that moving forward, the OAS – which he has referred to as instrument of domination – should serve as a forum where the Latin American bloc of countries can sort out its differences with its neighbours to the north.
The Ecuadorean government has opted to move away from bodies affiliated with the OAS such as the IACHR and the Inter-American Defense Board, choosing to work more closely with regional organizations such as CELAC as well as UNASUR, which is headquartered in Ecuador.