El Universal, Venezuela
"Cuba is not with OAS and is not dead"
The 5th summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) ended with a flexible energy agreement and withdrawal from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
By MARÍA LILIBETH DA CORTE, EL UNIVERSAL
30 April 2007
Cuban ruler Fidel Castro’s health ; a complaint filed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Venezuelan state for violating the human rights of workers of TV channel Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), and the "US attacks" were top in the agenda of the political dialogue among head of states and government at the 5th summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), ended Sunday in western Lara state.
Bolivian president Evo Morales’s request to counter the actions of organizations such as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) because, in his opinion, multinational companies use it to continue "looting" natural resources and elude Bolivian regulations, made Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez reply for the third day in a row to IACHR.
Chávez repeated that TV channels supported the events of April 2002, when he was briefly removed from power, and recalled that "after the coup, some governments, pushed by the United States" asked the Organization of American States (OAS) "to intervene in Venezuela."
"I said, ’It seems that I staged the coup. I toppled (businessman Pedro) Carmona.’ Thanks to some governments and (the Caribbean Community) Caricom, that threat was wiped out. But on that occasion, I said, ’If OAS, after all this mess witnessed by the whole world, comes and condemns us, Venezuela could leave OAS, like Cuba did. Cuba is not a member state and Cubans have not died for not being at OAS."
He insisted on saying that as long as international organizations "continue serving the Empire, they will lack legitimacy." In this regard, he proposed to "get free from these dominance mechanisms and create our own institutions."
After five hours of debate aired on official TV channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), Morales announced withdrawal of ALBA member states from ICSID.
"In Bolivia, we are not afraid of ICSID," Morales said. His sentence was retaken by Chávez to state, "No fear," and he railed again on IACHR.
"This Commission has not spoken up yet on the coup attempt or the attack on the Cuban embassy, the people dead here, kidnapping of a president, the murder of dozen innocent people, or removal of public branches. It never issued an opinion or will never do it."
Translated by Conchita Delgado