The Democracy Perspective in the Americas presents the author's views on the evolution of democracy in the American hemisphere and the challenges confronting this form of governance. It comprises a collection of his statements and published commentaries on the perspective of democracy from 1993 to 2008, while serving as Guyana's Ambassador to the United States at the Organization of American States (OAS) and in Venezuela. At the OAS, in particular, Ishmael was deeply involved in diplomatic discussions, in which he presented his perspective of the promotion and development of the democratic process at forums dealing with the organization's agenda. Since 2004, Ishmael has participated in numerous high-level meetings of the newly-established Union of South American Nations, enabling him to present a front-row view of the political, economic, social, and ideological challenges facing the advance of democracy and the integration of the South American nations.
Odeen Ishmael is currently the ambassador of Guyana to Venezuela. He previously served as his country's ambassador to the United States and, simultaneously, as permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) from 1993 to 2003. Since the 1970s, he has been a premier writer on the problems and perspectives of education in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region. He has written extensively on Guyanese history and culture as well as political developments in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Democracy and poverty Chapter 3 2. The situation in Haiti Chapter 4 3. Poverty: A destabilizing factor to democracy Chapter 5 4. A time for healing in Haiti Chapter 6 5. Colonialsim left a legacy of underdevelopment Chapter 7 6. The return of President Aristide to Haiti Chapter 8 7. The OAS must identify proactive methods to build democracy Chapter 9 8. Women's participation in governance is indispensible Chapter 10 9. Caribbean countries must pool ideas to develop their resources Chapter 11 10. The OAS must champion debt relief Chapter 12 11. Violence against women violates human rights and fundamental freedoms Chapter 13 12. Economic insecurity can lead to socio-economic and political instability Chapter 14 13. White Helmets vital in New Global Human Order Chapter 15 14. Haiti facing economic challenges Chapter 16 15. The developmental role of the OAS Chapter 17 16. Eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities Chapter 18 17. The need for a New Global Human Order Chapter 19 18. Sustainable development imperative for small countries Chapter 20 19. Crime undermines democracy Chapter 21 20. Economic challenges to smaller economies Chapter 22 21. OAS should set up a permanent disaster assistance unit Chapter 23 22. Effects of global economic crisis on smaller economies Chapter 24 23. All nations must adhere to democratic principles Chapter 25 24. Security concerns of small developing states Chapter 26 25. Democracy must be consultative and participatory Chapter 27 26. Hemispheric unity comes about with expanding democracy Chapter 28 27. There is no perfect democracy Chapter 29 28. Terrorism - a threat to international peace and security Chapter 30 29. The situation in Venezuela Chapter 31 30. Influencing the democratic process in the Americas - A tribute to Simon Bolivar Chapter 32 31. The importance of political dialogue Chapter 33 32. Political dialogue imperative for a democratic Haiti Chapter 34 33. The Inter-American Democratic Charter - its significance, applicability, and potential Chapter 35 34. Approaches on security in the Caribbean region Chapter 36 35. All political forces must maintain dialogue Chapter 37 36. Caricom's support for the democratically elected President of Venezuela Chapter 38 37. Refusing to have political dialogue breeds conflict situations Chapter 39 38. Appeal to the international financial institutions to assist Haiti Chapter 40 39. Economic and security pressures on the Caribbean Chapter 41 40. Opposition to terrorism is complete and absolute Chapter 42 41. Working together to deepen democracy Chapter 43 42. Working together to solve hemispheric problems Chapter 44 43. Developing a culture of democracy Chapter 45 44. Political democracy must ensure economic and social democracy Chapter 46 45. The right to govern must be won through democratic elections Chapter 47 46. Place emphasis on the social agenda Chapter 48 47. Alleviating poverty is to promote democracy Chapter 49 48. Re-assessing democracy in the Americas Chapter 50 49. Governments must tackle the problem of poverty Chapter 51 50. Democracy faces new challenges Chapter 52 51. Caricom's concerns over the FTAA Chapter 53 52. Caricom can help FTAA process Chapter 54 53. Cheddi Jagan's vision for hemispheric integration Chapter 55 54. Advancing democracy with a Social Charter Chapter 56 55. Establishing the Community of South American Nations Chapter 57 56. What's happening with the FTAA negotiations? Chapter 58 57. The South American Community grows as OAS weakens Chapter 59 58. Democracy threatened by crime and violence Chapter 60 59. South American Community of Nations to map out economic strategies Chapter 61 60. Hemispheric leaders commit to fight poverty Chapter 62 61. Is the Summit of the Americas process facing a crisis? Chapter 63 62. Extreme poverty remains high in Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter 64 63. Guyana takes leadership of Rio Group Chapter 65 64. Advancing the social agenda in South American countries Chapter 66 65. Is democracy losing its vitality in the hemisphere? Chapter 67 66. The leftward trend in South America Chapter 68 67. Is the failure of WTO talks destroying the Washington consensus? Chapter 69 68. Socialist ideology takes new roots in South America Chapter 70 69. Rio Group strengthens itself Chapter 71 70. Cooperation for social and economic development Chapter 72 71. Developing a mechanism for consultation and coordination Chapter 73 72. Latin American countries promote social cohesion Chapter 74 73. More social investment can further reduce regional poverty Chapter 75 74. Wider international support for the New Global Human Order Chapter 76 75. UNASUR focuses on its constituent treaty Chapter 77 76. Advancing democracy to higher levels Chapter 78 77. UNASUR constituent treaty propels South American integration Chapter 79 78. UNASUR facilitates dialogue in Bolivian crisis Chapter 80 The Author