China in the OAS?

Thursday, July 30, 2009
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs published an interview with Otton Solis, founder and three time Presidential candidate of Costa Rica's Citizens' Action Party (Partido Accion Ciudadana).

Solis, whose platform is centered on opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), was narrowly defeated in the 2006 election by current President Oscar Arias.

In the interview, Solis was asked about Cuba:

Q: How will you change Costa Rica-Cuba relations if you become President?

Solis: We will recognize Cuba and vote for its unconditioned full membership in the OAS. If we were to place conditions related to its political organization we would have to review our relations with other communist states, such as China.

Mr. Solis, the OAS stands for the Organization of American States, not the Organization of Asian States. Therefore, the China example is completely misplaced.

Furthermore, it is an organization of nations in this Western Hemisphere, all of whose members are signatories to an Inter-American Democratic Charter in 2001, which places representative democracy at the core of hemispheric relations. That is why Cuba -- despite the steadfast efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and even OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza -- is not, and should not, be a member.