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El Salvador President Bukele says OAS has no reason to exist

The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, said Thursday that the Organization of American States (OAS) no longer has “no reason to exist”, after Argentina at the Summit of the Americas asked to “rebuild” this hemispheric organization.

“It is clear that the Ministry of Colonies in Washington, also known as the OAS, no longer has any reason to exist,” tweeted the Salvadoran president, who did not attend the summit taking place in Los Angeles, United States. 

Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco is attending in his place.

On Thursday, the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, called during the meeting for “rebuilding institutions that were designed” for integration, such as the OAS.

“The OAS, if it wants to be respected and return to being the regional political platform for which it was created, must be restructured, immediately removing those who lead it”, said the center-left president, adding to the criticism against the secretary general of that organization, Luis Almagro, which has also been raised by Mexico.

Fernández was speaking during the first plenary session in his capacity as president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), to which Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela belong, three countries that Washington excluded from the meeting because it considers that they do not comply with democratic standards.

Dissatisfied with these exclusions from the Summit, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not attend and sent in his place Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who on Wednesday described the exclusions as a “strategic error” and called for “re-founding the inter-American order”.

In June 2021, Bukele’s government broke an agreement with the OAS that allowed the operation of an International Commission Against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES).

At that time, Bukele said that he could no longer continue with the CICIES, after Almagro had announced that he would have as advisor the former mayor of San Salvador, Ernesto Muyshondt, who is currently being criminally prosecuted in El Salvador for corruption offenses after an alleged appropriation of labor quotas of employees of the capital’s mayor’s office. 

“We have decided that as Presidency we are also going to break our agreement with the OAS-CICIES because it is a complete nonsense that we are trying to fight impunity with precisely the people who are promoting impunity in El Salvador,” Bukele said.

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