Chile’s Jose Miguel Insulza was re-elected Wednesday as secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) for another five-year term (2010/2015). Insulza, 66, the only candidate, was elected by acclamation at the OAS general assembly with Paraguay’s Hector Lacognata acting as president.
Insulza said he welcomed the renewed support humbly but also with joy and stressed the value of the OAS amid recent criticism.
It makes sense to have a hemispheric organization not just for geographic reasons but also because we share a set of values and ideas and we try to put them into practice, and it is those freely accepted ideas and commitments that must always guide our management, Insulza said.
His re-election was virtually guaranteed well in advance, both because he was the only candidate and also because enough countries had already committed their vote for him. However, Bolivia abstained and several governments made it clear Wednesday that their support is conditional.
Roy Chaderton, the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS, said the organization must get used to agreements and disagreements.
Nicaraguan ambassador Denis Moncada called the OAS to not continue being an instrument of empire, with reference to the United States.
The Bolivian delegate, who abstained from voting said his country was not opposed to Mr. Insulza’s re-election by acclamation.
Thirty-two countries in the Americas - all except Cuba - are currently members of the OAS. The organization last year ended the decades-long suspension of the Castro brothers’ regime in Cuba, but Havana has not requested admission.
Also last year, the OAS suspended Honduras from membership in the light of the June coup that ousted then-president Manuel Zelaya. The suspension has not been lifted, although a new government has since been democratically elected in Tegucigalpa and steps were being taken to normalize its foreign relations.