Confirmed the Cuban-American Frank Mora as ambassador to the OAS

After a year and a half of waiting, the Senate has finally confirmed the Cuban-American Frank Mora as United States ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).

The delay is due to the opposition of two federal senators, also Cuban-Americans, Democrat Bob Menéndez and Republican Marco Rubio. Both questioned Mora’s role as an assistant secretary in the Department of Defense during the Obama administration and his subsequent job as director of the Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies at Florida International University.

According to both senators, Mora was always in favor of the thaw policy towards Havana promoted by the Obama administration. President Joe Biden nominated him in July of last year.

The ambassador arrives at the OAS at a particularly fragile moment for democracy in Latin America, such as the political crisis in Peru with the arrest of President Pedro Castillo after he tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.

Senators Bob Menéndez (d) and Marco Rubio (r). Photo: N.D.

Diplomatic efforts to democratize Venezuela are another key concern, as are right-wing protests in Brazil, which hopes to overturn the results of October’s presidential election, won by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

But the problem is not just limited to the OAS. Earlier this year, more than a third of the ambassadorial posts in Latin America and the Caribbean were vacant, according to observers, due to obstruction by Republicans and inaction by the Biden administration.

It is not clear what made Menéndez and Rubio cave in in Mora’s case.

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