The General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) opened in Washington on Thursday (8 May).
The General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) opened in Washington on Thursday (8 May). The U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger was present to hold private meetings with the foreign ministers and other envoys of the 23 member states.
During the opening session, the U.S. was criticised for reducing aid to Latin America and a call was made to end OAS sanctions against Cuba.
In his opening speech, the retiring OAS Secretary General Galo Plaza declared that "declining levels of U.S. bilateral economic assistance are causing considerable concern".
"We remember that under the Marshall Plan, the United States contributed nearly two per cent of its gross national product to European recovery", he said. The contribution to worldwide development assistance was now only two-tenths of one per cent.
The Provisional Assembly Chairman, Mr. G. Moe, Foreign Minister of Barbados, complained about the failure of Dr. Kissinger's "new dialogue". This was for off-the-record meetings aimed at solving differences in private. These were suspended because Venezuela and Ecuador refused to attend -- because both countries were barred from receiving special low tariffs for their products since they were members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.