April 12, 2005

It Would Be a Real Five Across the Eyes for Bolivia

MABB is a registered TM.

The Organization of American States (OAS) is locked in a dead heat elections. The two candidates for Secretary General, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Ernesto Derbez, and Chile's Interior Minister, José Miguel Insulza, are tied after five rounds. This is turning to be a once in a blue moon elections.

According to news reports, elections for Secretary General in the OAS usually are an easy affair. The member countries choose their candidate well in advance, after negotiations. However, this year has been very different.

The 35 members of the organization are showing signs of political divisions. Part of those divisions are the unresolved issues in the southern hemisphere. One of those is the Bolivian-Chilean sea issue. This is something that Bolivia is not letting go. The Mesa government has repeatedly raised the issue of sea access for Bolivia in international forums like the UN and the OAS, itself. The Chilean government has, at the same time, repeatedly taken the issue off the negotiating table.

Bolivia has expressed its support for Derbez, adding that it could never support the Chilean candidate because of the deep differences between Bolivia and Chile and Bolivia's dignity.

Now, I've read some reports speculating on the likeness of Insulza becoming the favorite candidate. Apparently, the Chilean government is doing everything it can to achieve this goal. It's even offering some incentives to the members of the Caribbean community so they vote for Insulza.

Rumors aside, in the case that Insulza gets elected new Secretary General of the OAS, Bolivia can "really" forget bringing up the issue of sea access in a forum of the OAS. For obvious reasons. That would be like a really loud five across the eyes. It might even be that the issue is difficult to raise in any other international forum. Well, I guess, Bolivia will just have to seat it out.

One thing that bothers me is that Insulza is being supported by Hugo Chavez. That, I bet, is making the US government nervous. Maybe Mr. Bush should send Mr. Rumsfeld to give them "loco" latinos a talk and put them in line.