New Americas Bloc to Exclude US, Canada

In the latest sign of diminished US influence, the countries of the Americas and Caribbean have united to create a bloc sidestepping the Organization of American States (OAS) and expressly excluding the US and Canada.

For over 50 years, the US-based OAS has been the main body for resolving regional issues and promoting its interests. The times are a-changing…

According to the Irish Times:

“It is the latest example of a decade-long drive within the Americas to deepen continental integration and lessen the once overwhelming influence of the US on politics and economies.

“The formal foundation of what is provisionally to be called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will not take place until a summit in Venezuela next year, with its radical President Hugo Chávez as host. He has spearheaded efforts to undermine what he labels US imperialism in the Americas.

“But along with Venezuela, the moderate left-wing administration in Brazil – as well as the conservative president of Mexico – have also pushed for the creation of the new body, arguing that the region’s developing nations need a separate organisation to represent their interests on the global stage.

“’It is time to realise the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean,’ Mexico’s right-wing president Felipe Calderón told the 24 heads of state at the summit.”

We’ve written before about the decline of US influence in South America, and yet this is an even more direct affront to the region’s economic leaders. You can read more of the details in an Irish Times article on the Latin American and Caribbean states setting up a bloc that excludes the US.