Panama City, Panamá, April 11 (Andes) – In a celebrated speech at the VII Summit of the Americas, President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, reflected on power relations which have impeded progress in Latin America, press freedom and reproached the US double standard on human rights and their history of interventionism.
Correa said the executive order signed by President Barack Obama, declaring Venezuela as an unusual threat to national security of the United States, contravenes “international law” and the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS).
“The response of the region has been severe, rejecting the executive order and requesting revoke: our people will never accept guardianship, interference or intervention, our past is torn by abuse and violence,” said Correa.
The Ecuadorian President also questioned the US government requesting Congress for a budget to support press freedom, human rights and democracy in the hemisphere, including Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
“Let’s talk about human rights (…) in Ecuador have no torture, death penalty or extrajudicial executions,” explained Correa and mentioned that according to ECLAC the Andean country is of three Latin American countries that has reduced inequality.
He stressed that Ecuador is one of seven countries in the hemisphere that has signed all inter human rights instruments. “Many countries have not even ratified the American Convention on Human Rights or the San José Pact,” he said while reiterating the need for a new Inter-American Human Rights System.
He said the OAS has been “historically captured by interests and visions of North America, which has proved to be unreliable for the current times we are living in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.
Rafael Correa called for “a little more consistency” and suggested that one can participate in different instances countries that have ratified the American Convention on Human Rights (which has not been revalidated by the US).
He argued that it is the Court of St. Joseph which can and should prosecute violations of human rights and not the Commission based in Washington, which he described as being unnecessary.
The South American president said that everything is ready for the creation of a Latin American human rights system, as are the countries of this region that have signed the Pact of San José and, consequently, “those who recognize and submit the Inter-American Court “.
Correa dedicated a small part of his speech to press in Latin America which he described as bad. “Let’s talk about press freedom: when Latin American elites claim that there is no press freedom is because their media can no longer manipulate the truth, or because we dare to answer them to challenge their hegemony, to expose their lies”.
He pondered whether a company could be called truly free when the right to information and social communication itself are in private business for profit. “And although this is a global problem, in Latin America, the media monopolizes, it has serious ethical and professional deficiencies, and a blatant involvement in politics the problem is much more serious.”
“I think we all agree that a good press is vital for true democracy, but we also agree that bad press is deadly to the same democracy. And the Latin American press is bad, very bad, “he said.
In one part of his speech that lasted 11 minutes, the Ecuadorian president raised the question of why Latin America is not “the most powerful country on earth.”
“This is one of the great enigmas of development. The answers are many and complex, but certainly one of those answers is the class of elites who dominated and still dominate our America, “said Correa.
“Hopefully, President Obama will understand that defending interests of those elites have caused a lot of harm,” Correa said, addressing the US president in the Atlapa convention center where the plenary was developed.