Although most Americans have not heard about it, a historic step toward changing this hemisphere was taken three weeks ago. A new organization for the region was formed, and everyone was invited except the U.S. and Canada. The new organization is called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
There was a reason for the exclusion of the two richest countries, including the world’s largest economy. In fact there were many reasons, but they went mostly unnoticed in the major media. The existing regional grouping, the Organization of American States (OAS), is too often controlled by the U.S. State Department, with Canada as junior partner.
Americans should welcome these changes and ignore the pundits’ whining about so-called “anti-Americanism” in this independence movement. We, the 99 percent of Americans who did not benefit from decades of harmful intervention from Washington in the region, have everything to gain from a more independent and prosperous Latin America, and nothing to lose.
Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: the Phony Crisis.
For more on this story, visit: A New Force in Latin America » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.