Five Democratic and Republican senators from the United States presented this Thursday a bill to “protect” democracy in the American continent, amid the controversy over the exclusion of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela from the Summit of the Americasto be held in Los Angeles.
The measure, baptized as the Draft Law for the Defense of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, calls for strengthening the cooperation of the United States with the Organization of American States (OAS) to “confront threats to democratic governance.”
The initiative was presented by the chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee, Democrat Bob Menéndez, together with Democratic senators Tim Kaine and Ben Cardin, and Republicans Bill Cassidy and Roger Wicker.
Approved in Lima on September 11, 2001, the Inter-American Democratic Charter proclaims the main objective of the OAS to be the defense of democracy on the continent.
“The Western Hemisphere is not immune to the current wave of democratic decline and authoritarianism facing the world. From Havana to Caracas, from Managua to San Salvador, this is the time to reinforce the US diplomatic strategy to help face the challenges that threaten the norms and principles of the Charter,” said Menéndez.
For this reason, his initiative urges the US government to cooperate with the OAS to improve “the integrity of the electoral processes” in the Americas.
Measures to preserve human rights
It also calls for the creation of a working group and an OAS resolution “on the impact of disinformation” on democracy, and the establishment of a special rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on corruption.
In a statement, the senators highlighted that the initiative is presented “on the eve” of the Summit of the Americas, of which the United States is hosting and that will bring together leaders of the continent from June 6 to 10 in Los Angeles (California).
The Government of the United States has indicated that it will probably exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from this summit because it considers that they do not meet the requirements of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
Nevertheless, the presidents of mexicofrom Bolivia and several Caribbean countries have warned that they will not attend the meeting if all the American nations are not invited.