The Hemisphere: THE OAS: Trying to Hold the Americas Together

EXCEPT in times of crisis, few Americans hear much about the Organization of American States.

When trouble comes, it suddenly appears onstage as a set of initials with some ill-defined, but impressive-sounding role in inter-American affairs. In reality, it does not command the power that is expected of it. But as an organ of consultation and a forum of opinion, it is far and away the handiest instrument the U.S. has for dealing with hemisphere problems.

In its 75 years of life, the organization, under various names, has been the key element in the effort to establish a system of Latin American international...

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