A State of War Exists in the Americas

Brazil should be expelled from the Organization of American States. It is currently housing deposed would-be dictator Manuel Zelaya in its embassy in Tegucigalpa, which seems to be a fairly clear violation of Article 19 of the OAS Charter, which states: “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”

Brazil also risks triggering the collective defense provisions of the charter as any act of aggression, including but not limited to military action against a member state — including by another member state — is considered an act of aggression against all member states.

Article 29 states: “If the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political independence of any American State should be affected by an armed attack or by an act of aggression that is not an armed attack, or by an extracontinental conflict, or by a conflict between two or more American States, or by any other fact or situation that might endanger the peace of America, the American States, in furtherance of the principles of continental solidarity or collective self­defense, shall apply the measures and procedures established in the special treaties on the subject.”

By harboring Zelaya, Brazil is endangering the peace in Honduras. Whether declared or not, a state of war exists between the OAS and Brazil.

Written by David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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