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Efforts Underway To Sabotage CELAC's Role in Mexico-Ecuador Dispute

April 12, 2024 (EIRNS)—On April 9, Honduran President Xiomara Castro, president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), convened an extraordinary meeting of the group’s foreign ministers. Its purpose was to discuss Ecuador’s violation of international law, when it violently raided Mexico’s embassy in Quito on April 5, and kidnapped former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas. A majority of the ministers present condemned Ecuador’s unprecedented action. Castro had subsequently announced she would convene an extraordinary meeting April 12 of CELAC’s heads of state and governments, to debate Ecuador’s violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, and the 1954 Amnesty Convention, to seek condemnation of and possible sanctions on Ecuador.

That didn’t sit well with five countries—Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. They used Castro’s announcement—that heads of state would also review the group’s voting procedures, now based on passing resolutions by consensus, rather than a simple majority—to launch an attack on the Honduran President. This was a crass attempt to sabotage CELAC’s role in a very delicate diplomatic case, which has dangerous regional implications, and further polarize Ibero-America and the Caribbean.

In a statement released April 10, “Communication to the President Pro Tempore of CELAC,” reported by the Honduran daily El Heraldo the five governments—not exactly bastions of progressive policymaking—attacked Castro for making “unauthorized” decisions. They complained that she should never have convened the foreign ministers’ or the heads of state meeting, as she lacked the proper “consensus.” They expressed their “profound disagreement with the way that this President Pro-Tem is running things, making a partial interpretation of events.” Given the lack of consensus for the heads of state meeting, they warned, any decisions it makes may be considered illegal. Their statement also threatened that, given the way Castro operates, “many” heads of state will not bother to attend.

Castro, whose government is a firm ally of Russia and China, and affiliated with the Belt and Road Initiative, isn’t shy about expressing her opinions. She responded to the five by pointing out that the decision to hold both meetings made by CELAC’s leadership “troika”—the Presidents of Honduras, Colombia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines—was absolutely legitimate. She added today that “at Mexico’s request,” the virtual heads of state meeting has been postponed until April 23 at 9:00 am Honduras time. Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina said that if the Presidents of the five governments don’t want to attend the meeting, “they’re within their rights” to do so. It is, however, regrettable, he added, “that they seek to give another interpretation to norms that are clear,” to address a matter “that cannot be ignored,” Spain’s EFE news service reported on April, citing him as saying.