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SVG supports Mexican for OAS post

SVG supports Mexican for OAS  post

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has pledged this country’s support for the candidacy of Luis Ernesto Derbez, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, in the race for Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) – the world’s oldest regional organization.{{more}}

Dr.Gonsalves made the announcement at a press briefing at Cabinet Room, on Thursday, December 16 attended by Mexico’s Ambassador to St.Vincent, Luz Elena Bueno, Ambassador of Belize, Salvador Figueroa, and Deputy Minister for Latin American and the Caribbean,and Miguel Hakim Simon,.

The Mexican delegation, accompanied by the Belizean Ambassador, visited this country to secure from St.Vincent and the Grenadines a commitment to support the candidacy of Derbez. Dr.Gonsalves stated that he had already assured Derbez of this country’s support during a telephone conversation .

“They have come here not so much to persuade me, because I was already persuaded, but basically to make a formal announcement that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is supporting Luis Ernesto Derbez for the vacant post of Secretary General for the Organization of American States,” said Dr.Gonsalves.

The Prime Minister described Derbez as his good friend and a good man who will serve the hemisphere well. He said the only question was if Derbez wanted him to campaign in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

The Prime Minister said CARICOM had supported the candidacy of former Secretary-General Miguel Angel Rodriguez and he is hoping the regional grouping will take a common position again.

Dr.Gonsalves disclosed the St.Vincent and the Grenadines vote is being lobbied by other countries, but he will indicate formally to them that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is supporting Mexico.

The former head of the OAS resigned just two weeks into his tenure in October after allegations that he had participated in a bribery scandal involving a French telephone company.

Rodriguez, a former president of Costa Rica, resigned after Costa Rica’s attorney general said Rodriguez did not have immunity from prosecution on allegations that he accepted $140,000 in a deal involving the French telephone company Alcatel.

Though Mexico has granted 140 scholarships undergraduate to St.Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Gonsalves is adamant that this was not the reason for his giving St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ support to Mexico.

“I want to make it plain that the cynics will say, ‘well these scholarships have something to do with our vote.’ These scholarships were agreed on a year and half ago and the first batch of students are there over a year now. At the time no one knew, and it was not contemplated there would be a Mexican candidate for the post of the OAS Secretary General,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

The other candidates for the post are former president of El Salvador Francisco Flores, and Chile’s Minister of the Interior, José Miguel Insulza

In the meantime, the Secretary General of the OAS is filled by American Luigi Einaudi, a former State Department official.