In the 1960s, the defense of the principle of non-interference cost Argentine presidents Arturo Frondizi (1962) and Arturo Illia (1966) their governments, among other reasons, for opposing US intervention in Cuba and Dominican Republic.
The defense of this principle by these governments, overthrown by the military who found support in Washington, was justified to protect our countries from the open intervention of the USA and the USSR within the framework of the East-West confrontation which characterized the Cold War.
In the 1970s, it was the anti-Communist military dictatorships that upheld this principle to respond to complaints from the State Department, under President James Carter, about human rights violations perpetrated south of the Rio Grande.
Then came Ronald Reagan, in the 1980s, and the interference took another direction: Washington’s objective was to prevent Nicaragua from becoming “another Cuba” at the gates of the Empire, after the Sandinista revolution which overthrew the former dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.
And it was Argentine President Raúl Alfonsín who replied to Reagan, on the White House lawn in 1985, that Latin America had to emerge from the Cold War; that it was not the choice between revolution and counter-revolution that was at stake, but the choice between dictatorships and democracies.
Forty years later, the leader of this Nicaraguan revolution, Daniel Ortega, completes the 360 ° circle and takes the place of the dictator he expelled. It has become a new Somoza, quelling protests, silencing critical voices, arresting opposition leaders and seeking to perpetuate themselves in power. And how the dictators of yesteryear against Carter, as well as another autocrat like Nicolás Maduro, denounce “outside interference” and attempt to distract from their dictatorial government by accusing “US imperialism”, dating back to the era of the cold war.
Unfortunately, the Argentine government has yielded to this regressive vision, which blurs historical scenarios, refraining – along with Mexico – from condemning the repression exercised by the Nicaraguan government at the OAS and demanding the release of the imprisoned opposition leaders. .
The text was approved by 26 votes – including the United States, Chile, Colombia and Peru – during an extraordinary session of the OAS Permanent Council, the executive body of the regional bloc. Bolivia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines voted against, while Argentina, Belize, Dominica, Honduras and Mexico abstained. The Nicaraguan delegation condemned the interference of the multilateral organization and accused the United States of pursuing an “interventionist policy”.
The official statement which explains the abstention of Argentina and Mexico from the OAS vote specifies that “we do not agree with the countries which set aside the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs, if dear to our history “.
It is to ignore all the progress made in the last forty years of regional, hemispheric and international legal and political commitments and instruments in favor of human rights and democracy.
The argument that such instruments are only applied by powerful countries against weak countries for geopolitical reasons is generally an alibi used by rulers and regimes who trample on their societies, harass their detractors or limit their freedoms, whatever. or ideologies, of course, do not want a “foreign power” to interfere in their affairs.
Likewise, the “double standard” or “hemiplegia” argument according to which any international policy of principle invalidates the possibility of recognizing advances in international humanitarian law and international commitments in favor of democracy.
When the principle of “non-intervention” is used to avoid regional, hemispheric and international commitments in the field of human rights and the defense of democracy, societies are not protected, but regimes and leaders. that harm them are protected.
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