Latin America: Week in Review, United States

House Committee Votes To Stop Funding OAS

July 21, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story — The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to end its funding of the Organization of American States (OAS), with Republicans claiming the regional bloc was an enemy to democracy and freedom in the Americas. The hour-long debate over the proposal to cut the full annual U.S contribution of $48.5 million to the OAS is just the beginning of a long partisan debate over the fiscal 2012 State Department and foreign operations authorization bill. The OAS Charter was signed in 1948 at a conference led by then-U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall and is headquartered in Washington. During Wednesday’s debate Republicans said that the group supports anti-U.S. regimes such as that of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, while Democrats argued that defunding the OAS would isolate the United States. “Here we are for a lousy $48 million willing to symbolically turn our backs on our own hemisphere… This is folly. it’s more than folly, it’s dangerous,” said Representative Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from New York. “And you’ve got the votes to do it, that’s the frightening thing. But what we should be looking at are opportunities to reach out to the world.”

Read more at Foreign Policy Magazine’s The Cable blog.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • Pro-Chávez community organizations in New York’s South Bronx that once received generous grants from the Venezuelan government have seen their funding dry up — and they want to know why. Juan Fajardo reports.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • Future prospects for improving U.S.-Cuba ties will be at stake when Cuba’s highest court hears an appeal on Friday from jailed U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross against his 15-year sentence for crimes against the state.
  • Haitian President Michel Martelly will ask a reconstruction commission to extend its mandate for a year.
  • Five students set a world record Wednesday after reading aloud for 300 straight hours to raise awareness about books in the Dominican Republic. And they kept going.

Central America


Southern Cone

Image: OEA – OAS @ Flickr.

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