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Rubio, Lee Call Out “Cultural Imperialism” of OAS

Oct 3, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) today urged the State Department to re-examine the way U.S. contributions to the Organization of American States (OAS) are utilized in light of ongoing concerns the U.N.-backed entity is pushing an ideological agenda. The senators want the Obama Administration to fully implement the Organization of American States (OAS) Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013 and address concerns about the OAS imposing its cultural views on OAS member states.

The letter states that legislators “have heard from Central and South American officials that their own national sovereignty is threatened by what they view as ‘cultural imperialism’ imposed by an organization that is seemingly more concerned with pushing an ideological agenda than respecting the local rule of law.”

The U.S. provided more than one-third (41.7%) of the OAS’ total budget in 2015, continuing the historic pattern of the U.S. contributing the largest sum of funds for this entity. The OAS Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013 requires a multiyear strategy be provided to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a quarterly briefing that analyzes the progress made by the OAS. The letter suggests it is not clear whether the Department is implementing the requirements of this law.

Considering that the U.S. is the largest donor of the OAS, the letter requests an in-person briefing from State Department officials responsible for Western Hemisphere Affairs and U.S. representation to the OAS.

The full text of the letter can be read here.