On March 7, the Institute of the Americas was honored to welcome U.S. Ambassador OAS Francisco O. Mora as the first speaker of our 2023 Distinguished Lecture Series. A former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere under the Obama Administration (2009–2013) and more recently a Professor and Research Director of Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Mora was confirmed as OAS Ambassador by the U.S. State in late December and formally presented his credentials at the OAS on January 18th.
During his remarks, Amb. Mora highlighted that the OAS, “continues to demonstrate its relevance and commitment to its core values of as set forth in its key documents and instruments, such as the OAS Charter, the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, Declaration on Security in the Americas, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter. He also observed, that “the OAS has a unique role. and mandate in the Americas for promoting a hemispheric commitment to these values.” That said, he also highlighted some of the challenges faced as some countries in region have begun pushing back against some of the core principles of the OAS’s original Bogota Charter.
In particular, Ambassador Mora spoke about the threats to the Inter-American System due to the rise of populist leaders with autocratic tendencies including Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and Cuba’s Miguel Diaz-Canal. He also noted that the growing influence of China and Russia in the region is impacting the cohesiveness of the original signers of the OAS’s Bogota Charter.
Ambassador Mora’s keynote address was recorded by IOA’s media partner UCTV. The video will be available soon.