From time to time the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) issues the statements of other organizations on hemispheric concerns to give voice to enlightened positions on inter-American affairs and allow them to present their message to a larger audience. Here COHA wishes to thank the Maryland Green Party Congressional Slate for their statement concerning the future relationship between the U.S. Congress and Latin America.
This Green Party Slate White Paper was originally published on the Maryland Green Party website.
A Green Party Administration and Greens elected to Congress would break with Washington’s traditional posture of treating Latin America and the Caribbean as our nation’s “backyard” and instead promote a hemispheric policy based on mutual respect among sovereign nations. With this policy shift, the US will participate in the Organization of American States (OAS) as an equal partner and address our common goal of advancing human development in harmony with the earth’s ecosystems. We will also build bridges of understanding with our regional neighbors to address the causes of migration and develop a humane and just immigration policy.
One of the most pressing challenges facing our nation today is immigration control and reform. With regard to the status of some 12 million undocumented persons residing in the United States, a Green Administration would not start by building monumental walls along the U.S.—Mexican border, nor would it continue the mass deportations implemented by the Obama administration that has torn apart so many families. We will work with all parties in Congress to hammer out an immigration policy that would control our borders; develop procedures to facilitate a legal means for visits among transnational families; and provide a path to citizenship for those that meet appropriate criteria. A Stein—Baraka Administration would ensure our nation acts humanely towards immigrant children. We would immediately cease the detention and deportation of unaccompanied minors and recognize a right to appointed counsel for unrepresented children to ensure due process is followed in all immigration proceedings.
People should not be forced to leave their homes due to conditions resulting from US militarism and trade policy only to face a border wall and a mass deportation apparatus. A Green Administration would join our Latin American and Caribbean partners who have declared the entire hemisphere a zone of peace. This means we would re-evaluate the mission and extent of the U.S. military presence throughout the region. We would condition any aid to Honduras on ending the impunity for violations of human rights; shelve plans to build new military bases in Argentina; call for an immediate end to state violence in Mexico, which has impacted tens of thousands of persons, and accountability for those involved; and reprogram some of the security assistance for the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) to bolster local initiatives that create jobs, support youth programs, and expand access to education and skills training.
The Green party supports the Peace Accord in Colombia, and despite its rejection in a national referendum, stands firmly behind efforts to continue the negotiations and extend the cease-fire until the war is formally brought to an end. We would accelerate the process of normalization with Cuba and work to end the ill-advised and immoral embargo against the island nation. A Stein—Baraka Administration will respect, not manipulate, democratic procedures in Haiti. We would act to repair the U.S. relationship with the governments of Bolivia and Ecuador. We reject the corrupt impeachment process that led to the deposing of democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff and therefore would withhold recognition of the illegitimate government of interim President Michel Temer. And in order to end more than sixteen years of adversarial relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, we would immediately repeal the Obama Administration’s Executive Order declaring Venezuela an extraordinary threat to the National Security of the United States, establish full diplomatic relations with Caracas, and support the incipient Vatican—UNASUR mediated dialogue among the various political forces within that country.
The Green Party and allies throughout the world have been taking a strong stand against those mining, hydro-electric and fossil fuel interests that disregard human rights, the voices of the local community, and the environmental impact of the projects. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka condemned the assassination of Honduran world-renowned environmentalist and Indigenous rights activist Berta Caceres, who was targeted for her leadership role in resisting the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras. Stein and Baraka have also stood with those protesting against the North Dakota Access oil pipeline, drawing attention to the violation of Indigenous rights and the adverse environmental impact of such technologies.
It is time to transcend the Monroe Doctrine and recognize that the peoples of the Global South are committed to forging their own destiny. We have seen the human cost of taking sides with oligarchic forces against the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean during the last century and we appreciate those experiments in progressive governance that have lifted millions of people out of poverty. It is time we try another path, one based on waging peace, promoting fair instead of free trade, and on prioritizing human development over private accumulation. It is time for us to join with our neighbors to the South, putting people before profits, to build a more just, democratic, and environmentally sound world.
On behalf of:
US Congress: George Gluck – Nnabu Eze – Myles Hoenig – Kamesha Clark – Nancy Wallace
Dr. Margaret Flowers US Senate
Dr. Frederick B. Mills, Professor of Philosophy