Skip to comments.U.S. Official Outlines Essential Elements of Democracy
Posted on 09/25/2006 6:53:41 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
The Organization of American States (OAS), on behalf of the 800 million people in the Western Hemisphere, must be committed to defending democracy in the region, says U.S. official John Maisto.
In September 12 remarks at the OAS commemorating the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, Maisto said the charter enumerates the "essential elements of representative democracy."
Maisto, the U.S. permanent representative to the OAS, said those elements of democracy are respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; the rule of law; the holding of periodic, free and fair elections based on secret balloting; a pluralistic political system; and the separation of powers between branches of government.
He also emphasized that the "democracy we are talking about is not a U.S. model of democracy," nor a model of democracy from Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Costa Rica or Jamaica. The elements of democracy, he said, represent "fundamental, universal, non-negotiable human liberties. And in the Americas, we have a positive agenda to assure that all 800 million people enjoy these freedoms."
The U.S. envoy said that if democracy is to help reduce poverty and inequality in the Americas, "then democratic institutions must be effective. Institutions must be reformed to fight corruption and to function transparently. And every democracy must have the strength to create opportunities for improved health and education for all of its citizens."
Maisto said that to prevent a breakdown of this democratic infrastructure," the Democratic Charter, adopted by the United States and the 33 other OAS members on September 11, 2001, "must be a relevant tool for action, not just a piece of paper."
On that date, when the United States was attacked by terrorists and citizens of more than 30 countries in the hemisphere were killed, hemispheric leaders committed themselves "not only to defend our territory, our security, and our people," but also to defend democracy, said Maisto.
He added that under the auspices of the charter, the OAS has helped or is helping those member states where democratic practices or institutions are challenged, including in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. In addition, Maisto said that over the last 24 months, the OAS has fielded "high quality, successful election observer missions or other missions" in Bolivia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, St. Vincent, Suriname and Nicaragua.
Maisto said that even though the charter can serve as an effective tool to "ward off political crises or impending challenges to constitutional order, there is still reluctance on the part of some countries to use it in this way."
With this in mind, Maisto said the charter does not "anticipate rushing to sanction or to suspend" an OAS member state. Rather, he said, the charter "contemplates a gradual, measured response to political crises" and "incorporates very practical measures -- both remedial and preventive -- to strengthen and restore democracy."
Maisto said the two 9/11 events -- the terrorist attacks on the United States and the adoption of the charter -- are "seminal in the course of our hemisphere's history, and they will forever remain tied inextricably by fate's hand." He added that "at face value, both could not be further apart in their human dimensions: one, an act of premeditated evil, the other, a symbol of great human achievement that exalts civilization."
But on that date, Maisto said, "we saw our countries, our region, and our world come together as a community of nations to provide comfort, solidarity, and hope. And we saw political will and determination by each one of our governments to make a historic and explicit commitment to the preservation and promotion of democracy, on the very day that our democratic values and way of life came under attack."
For the text of the OAS democratic charter, see Democracy Dialogues.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
our mother country?
Talking to yourself is a sign of impending mental collapse.
This bill would require federal funds apportioned to the state under the coordinated border infrastructure program of SAFETEA-LU to be programmed, allocated, and expended in the same manner as other federal transportation capital funds in the state transportation improvement program, except that these federal funds would be exempt from being included in the transportation funds subject to the distribution and fair share formulas. The bill would also authorize these funds to be used for projects located in Mexico. The bill would authorize any nonfederal funds needed to match these federal funds to be programmed from any available local source or any available state transportation funding source, with the concurrence of the applicable regional transportation planning agency.
I wouldn't have a problem with it if it was for building inspection and processing facilities on Mexican soil. That way we wouldn't have to deport the people who get caught.
It would seem we already subsidize Mexico to an unseemly degree. Welfare on a grotesque scale. I don't agree that it is appropriate to blur the lines in this way, on the allegedly pragmatic grounds of prophylactic action.
Clearly Mexico, as one of the richest nations on the planet... has all the resources they need right now to do whatever is necessary to staunch illegal border excursions by their own illegally migrating populace of have-nots....sanctioned and abetted by their governments.
All of them. Past, present, and undoubtedly future. They will gladly set up 'make-work'infrastructure on their side of the border, with our money. But what it will actually do will only be like W's virtual fence, only be a cosmetic window-dressing...a pretext for the continued non-enforcement which is the actual marching order of the millenium. It will give the Mexican government a thin cover under which it can continue a pretense of cooperation.
Your aversion to free speech is anti-American.
Where we disagree is that I think it's better to have the facilities than not.
It's not fair that I must weed my neighbor's property. It costs me a bundle, but it's cheaper than leaving them there to send their seed across the line because I can clear the infestation to its natural boundaries. My neighbors won't do anything about them.
The 1998 federal transportation act - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) - established the Coordinated Border Infrastructure (CBI) Discretionary Program to fund border infrastructure projects. Agencies with eligible projects applied directly to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for funding. Under the current federal transportation act - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) - the CBI has been revised and is now a formula-driven funding program that provides funding to the states bordering Canada and Mexico for projects that "improve the safe movement of motor vehicles at or across the land border." Federal funding generally covers 80% of projects costs, subject to a sliding scale adjustment. The state is required to provide a match from non-federal sources to fund the remaining costs of the project. Eligible projects must be located within 100 miles of the border. Four counties in California are located within these boundaries: Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego.
Sounds like a bunch of blather. They ought to just say that nobody has a clue.
Precisely what I was thinking.
Foggy Bottom has always been a collection of NWO/UN enthusiast bureaucrats whose bumbling approach to protection of American interests abroad is almost beyond belief. The last thing they are interested in protecting is American sovereignty. We should have put it out of it's misery long ago.
Surely you don't expect that Austrian socialist, Arnold, to give a damn about American sovereignty.
Not at all. Blabber on all you want. You're only making a fool of yourself.
No, it is our government that is making fools of us citizens and taxpayers. Especially the State Department and especially Rice and Maisto.
Personally, I blame Tom Cruise.
In that region of context perhaps they have stable meaning, or not. Outside that meanings drift and fluctuate. If meaning were consistently constant why would words need to be put into sentences?
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