ICYMI: Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee Op-Ed in The Houston Chronicle: In Trump Era, It's Time to Reassess Western Hemisphere Alliances
‘Our national interest lies in promoting security and economic prosperity for Americans, not in telling other democracies what to do.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) today penned the following op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, urging President Trump and the State Department to stop the progressive cultural imperialism that marked the previous administration’s engagements with the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Below are excerpts of Sens. Cruz and Lee’s op-ed:
Lee, Cruz: In Trump era, it's time to reassess Western Hemisphere alliances
By Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee
June 21, 20
As citizens of the United States, we recognize the rights of foreign peoples to live and govern themselves as they see fit. Just as the American people would not tolerate another nation dictating to us how to run our country, we believe other people should be able to make their own laws free from outside interference.
Unfortunately, that is what has happened with U.S. involvement in the Organization of American States over the last eight years. With the 47th General Assembly of the OAS this week in Mexico, the United States and President Donald Trump have before them an opportunity to correct this imbalance by engaging more responsibly with all our neighbors to the south through greater respect of religious and cultural freedom.
While the OAS has proven useful in opposing Communism and dictatorships like the ones in Cuba and Venezuela, some of its recent activities have contradicted its founding principle. The organization has pressured Latin American nations to adopt social policies favored by progressive elites, not their own people. Such initiatives, aided by U.S. funding, ignore the cultures of these countries and ultimately alienate their people from the United States.
The OAS exerts pressure on countries through the resolutions of the General Assembly, executive actions of the Secretary General's office, and rulings of the Inter-American Court. The OAS has also used the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to force alien cultural practices on Latin American countries, including formal recommendations promoting abortion in countries whose legal, cultural and religious practices defend life.
It has even promoted abortion in countries party to the American Convention on Human Rights, which protects human beings from the moment of conception. Countries like Paraguay took measures in 2016 to strengthen and protect their own pro-life standards in reaction to pressure coming from the OAS and IACHR.
As U.S. senators, we are alarmed that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent overseas to advocate for political issues that aren't even settled here at home. In 2017, the United States could spend $41.9 billion on foreign assistance. It is our responsibility to ensure that money is spent to further U.S. interests, not to promote an agenda that many foreigners and Americans alike find repugnant. The OAS's recent actions amount to ideological colonialism and our neighbors - in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Uruguay - have protested the intrusion.
We hope that Trump and the new leaders at the State Department work to end progressive cultural imperialism that spread over the past eight years. This can and should start in our own backyard. Our national interest lies in promoting security and economic prosperity for Americans, not in telling other democracies what to do. Respecting the cultural and religious differences of our allies should be a top priority for an administration that campaigned on breaking away from business-as-usual foreign policy.
Read the op-ed in its entirety here.