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DOMINICA | Caribbean Leaders Reject OAS Attempts to Interfere in Dominica

Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit accused the Organization of American States' Secretary-General Luis Almagro is out to get him in an exclusive interview with teleSUR. | Photo: teleSUR Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit accused the Organization of American States' Secretary-General Luis Almagro is out to get him in an exclusive interview with teleSUR. | Photo: teleSUR
Latin America and the Caribbean leaders rejected attempts by the Organization of American States (OAS) to boycott the general elections that will be held in Dominica on Dec. 6.

The OAS and its Secretary-General Luis Almagro "are enemies of the democratic and progressive forces of our continent," Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Goncalves, said.

He also recalled that the OAS has made interference statements against Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia, which appear to be a replica of Washington's standard discourse against leftist governments.

In the case of Dominica, a Caribbean state that has been led by the Labor Party in recent years, the OAE has held positions that subtly support the opposition Unified Workers Party (UWP) leader Lennox Linton, who has been demanding an electoral reform before the upcoming elections.

Supported by the country's most conservative sectors, this opposition group has been trying to create confusion, fear, and chaos so as to delegitimize in advance the validity of the election results.​​​​​​​

The OAS-UWP actions seem to follow a sequence very similar to the strategy used in Bolivia, which began by questioning the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), then continued to proclaim in advance the existence of fraud and, finally, culminated in performing a coup d'etat on behalf of "democracy."​​​​​​​

"If they believe the elections are held unconstitutionally, they can go to court," Goncalves said and added that they will not possibly be taken seriously because "these elections are conducted properly."

Likewise, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples' Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) described OAS actions as intolerable examples of interference in Dominica's internal affairs.​​​​​​​

"Dominica is the next objective of Almagro and the OAS. They want to do what they did with the elections in Bolivia."

This multilateral institution also reiterated its support for the Caribbean Community (Caricom) communiqué of Feb. 19, whereby its member countries expressed their concern over Almagro's statements against the government led by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, who is also president of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, questioned the feasibility of implementing an electoral reform just a few weeks before general elections.

Besides pointing out that there is no constitutional crisis in Dominica, Browne explained that it is not practical to extend the elections beyond Dec. 6 because a political conflict could arise if the five-year requirement is postponed.​​​​​​​

In a recent interview with telerSUR, Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit took the Organization of American States' Secretary-General Luis Almagro to task for "leading a campaign" of incitement against the island's ruling Labour Party, the premier affirmed in an exclusive interview with teleSUR’s Madelein Garcia Wednesday.

"They (OAS) are targeting certain member states. Dominica is one such country that they’re targeting and my government is one such government that they are targeting. So it is not about free and fair elections -- it is not about the electoral process. They (OAS) have waited for this opportunity to implement this strategy, so,  it is something that has been in the making for three or four years," Skerrit stated.  

The premier believes that the main motivating factor behind, what he describes as the "OAS’ crusade to delegitimize his government," is a "punishment" for consistently voting against non-interference in the region, and more succinctly, against OAS resolutions on Venezuela.    

In 2017, Dominica was among three CARICOM member states that voted against a failed United States-backed resolution on Venezuela at the OAS General Assembly in Mexico. Speaking on the sidelines of that meeting, the PM told teleSUR that Almagro should be fired and the OAS has lost its way.

A year later, the small Caribbean island of about 75,000 residents, was among only four OAS member countries that voted against a resolution to suspend Venezuela from the 34-member group.

Fast-forward to the present day, and it turns out that Almagro has been very vocal about recent opposition-led protests in Dominica. On Nov. 19, the OAS chief tweeted about his reservations about the holding of free and fair elections in Dominica, while endorsing and substantiating the opposition’s demands for electoral reform ahead of the Dec. 6 polls, when 21 members of the House of Assembly will be chosen.

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  • Countries: Dominica

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