Mexico has returned to the concept of nonintervention in internal affairs. A formulation that obeys the Mexican diplomatic tradition from the doctrine of Chancellor Genaro Estrada in 1930. This position assumes that no government requires the recognition of other nations to assume its own sovereignty and, therefore, is considered an explicit rejection of any intervention in the internal affairs of another State. While this principle has been central to the conflicts of the Cold War of the twentieth century, it would be ironic that the Estrada doctrine, which is ultimately based on respect for the self-determination of peoples, is today a shield of protection of anti-democratic governments emerged of extralegal proceedings, as in the case of the Government of Nicolás Maduro.
The question raises, in short, not only a foreign policy debate but one of moral scope on the obligation of the Latin American community to defend internationally recognized values in extraordinary situations. It is the Inter-American Democratic Charter, adopted in 2001, that changes the paradigm for the application of the principle of non-intervention when constitutional norms that alter the democratic order are violated. The collective action envisaged in that legally binding instrument for all American states is not considered to violate the Estrada doctrine.
This was also recognized by Mexico in recent years. That same attitude inspired his renewed participation as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council or in United Nations Peace Missions. Also as regards voting in multilateral organizations on human rights violations, particularly since Chancellor Jorge Castañeda, in 2000, began to openly criticize Cuba. In this context, the outgoing Mexican government has been an outstanding member of the Lima Group, which does not recognize the presidential elections in Venezuela because it considers that they did not comply with the minimum democratic guarantees and demands the return of democracy.
It is disappointing that Mexico has taken a step backwards in the defense of essential values of the hemisphere. This setback could even be interpreted as a lack of knowledge of the Inter-American Democratic Charter that provides for a hemispheric response in the event that a constitutional change occurs in a member state that seriously affects the democratic order. The same would happen, if it persisted in that position, with other international instruments of similar characteristics of which Mexico is a party.
It is to be hoped that the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will reconsider, continue participating in the Lima Group and continue to harmonize the important responsible work carried out by the countries of the region in the defense of democracy and individual liberties. In these urgent matters, Latin America and the Caribbean cannot be neutral or close their eyes to humanitarian emergencies, who violate universal human rights norms or destroy the democratic order of their societies.
The author is former vice chancellor of the Nation.
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