Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

International Relations and Human Rights Observatory

We monitor and analyze foreign policy on human rights, including voting at the UN and OAS.

Fernández at the celebration of the Chinese Communist Party: an indifferent obsequiousness with millions of victims

Once again it is not understood how the government decides with regrettable obsequiousness - worthy of “carnal relations” - to celebrate the birthday of dictators. Moreover, he does it at a party full of autocratic guests from all regions and trends, as evidenced by presences ranging from the sanguinary Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the Cuban autocrat Miguel Diaz Canel. From right to left, from east to west and from north to south.

Brian Schapira

UNITED NATIONS: «The existing human rights system must be criticised, while still being defended»

CIVICUS speaks with Brian Schapira, Director of Institutional Relations at the Center for Latin America´s Opening and Development (Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina, CADAL), a foundation based in Argentina that works to defend and promote human rights. With a focus on supporting those who suffer severe restrictions to their civil and political liberties, CADAL promotes international democratic solidarity in collaboration with activists and civil society organisations (CSOs) around the world.
Is the CELAC is a regional organization created to endorse authoritarianism?

Is the CELAC is a regional organization created to endorse authoritarianism?

When being constituted in 2011, CELAC adopted in Caracas a not very credible democratic clause arguing in favor of integration in diversity, thus relativizing political systems. In other words, a democracy like that happening in Costa Rica, Chile, and Uruguay is worth the same as the autocracy occurring in Venezuela and a one-party dictatorship as in Cuba. Due to its regional scope, the hypocrisy of several participating countries, organizational shortcomings, and duplication of efforts, CELAC is an intergovernmental body that represents a discredit for democratic governance in the hemisphere whose existence is questionable.
Latin America before the new nomination of Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council

Latin America before the new nomination of Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council

Outstanding Latin American democratic referents, with a track record in defending human rights, signed a statement promoted by CADAL that expresses «rejection of Cuba's new candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council because it is not representative of democratic aspirations and commitment with the human rights of the region».

Candidates for the Human Rights Council election practice transparency and accountability

However, the non-cooperation of some states, obvious yet again on this occasion, was, as the French human rights ambassador Francois Croquette put it, “the elephant in the room”. The fact that Bolivia, Cuba, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal declined the invitation to participate in the discussion, reflects one aspect that explains why the HRC has been criticized. Some countries have been mocking the international human rights protection mechanisms by sitting on the HRC while at the same time blatantly violating their citizens’ human rights back home.

Felipe Solá

Request to the Argentinean Chancellor Felipe Solá regarding Belarus

CADAL asked the Argentine Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Felipe Solá, to publicly condemn the state repression in Belarus against peaceful protesters, including arbitrary detentions, torture, and the death cases following police brutality. Additionally, CADAL has requested that the Argentine Republic joins the international democratic community in its demand to repeat the presidential elections in Belarus, allowing different intergovernmental organizations to monitor their transparency.
Latin America before the renewal of the Human Rights Council

Latin America before the renewal of the Human Rights Council

CADAL organized the virtual conference Latin America before the renewal of the UN Human Rights Council, in which participated as speakers Demetrio Magnoli (Brazil), Pablo Iturralde (Uruguay), Manuel Cuesta Morúa (Cuba), José Antonio Viera-Gallo (Chile), Alejandro Anaya Muñoz (Mexico), Marisol Pérez Tello (Peru), Rafael Uzcátegui (Venezuela) and, on behalf of Argentina, the Director of Institutional Relations of CADAL, Brian Schapira. María Victoria Maineri, Coordinator of Institutional Relations of CADAL moderated the event. More than 100 participants followed the activity via streaming.
Virtual conference: Latin America before the Renewal of the UN HRC

Virtual conference: Latin America before the Renewal of the UN HRC

The meeting held by CADAL had the participation of: Brian Schapira (Argentina), Demetrio Magnoli (Brazil), Manuel Cuesta Morúa (Cuba), José Antonio Viera-Gallo (Chile), Alejandro Anaya Muñoz (Mexico), Marisol Pérez Tello (Peru), Pablo Iturralde (Uruguay) and Rafael Uzcátegui (Venezuela). The moderation was in charge of María Victoria Maineri, Coordinator of Institutional Relations at CADAL. Next October, the UN General Assembly will vote on the renewal of one third of the members of the Human Rights Council. The Latin American and Caribbean Group has 8 seats, and will renew 3 of them. Cuba announced its candidacy, and is going for its fifth term. Will Chile, Peru and Mexico stand for re-election? Will other candidates emerge? What will the position of the regional countries be?

Freedom of Movement after Covid-19

Of all the controls that people all over the world have accepted with little protest in the name of public health, the prohibition of movement is the most consequential. …[C]ombining trustworthy government information, solidarity with the desperate, and pragmatic technology would surely be an improvement over the mass lockdowns in place in much of the world.

The new Uruguayan government and the regional defense of democracy

From the perspective of the commitment to human rights, the decision of the new Uruguayan authorities -that will assume office next March 1- to not include the region’s autocrats in the swearing in ceremony is consistent with their values. It speaks badly of an exemplary democracy to give “equal treatment and respect” to leaders in other countries that were not elected through free, fair and competitive elections.

Argentina’s controversial foreign policy

(Global Americans) Under Argentina’s new government, foreign policy decisions based more on ideological affinity than on greater pragmatism could bare serious consequences for the country, more so when dealing with non-democratic countries.

Sybil Rhodes

Sybil Rhodes: «Migration cooperation is not a substitute for solving problems directly»

Sybil Rhodes is the president of CADAL, specialist in international relations and comparative politics, director of the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the CEMA University, and of the Master in International Studies. She has a doctorate and a master's degree in Political Science from Stanford University and has a degree in Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina. In this interview, she reflects on migration flows in America and how difficult it is for countries, especially the democratic ones, to be politically open to migration. She also gives us her opinion on how to cooperate with Venezuelans and on the restrictions imposed on Central Americans in the United States.

Migration crises and regional governance: The cases of Europe, North America and South America

Agreements in which destination countries, which are usually developed democracies, pay for not having to accept more migrants, are not what humanitarian advocates who argue in favor of international cooperation to face migration crises usually have in mind. However, cooperation to restrict immigration is more common worldwide than is cooperation in a liberal direction.

Human Rights from the International Relations


Piñera, PROSUR and autocratic China

(The Global Americans) A month after promoting the establishment of PROSUR, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera contradicted the central principles of the new regional bloc during a trip to China.

The G20, civil society, and democratic commitment

(Global Americans) At a time when democracy is regressing globally, it’s crucial for civil society to step up and affirm international commitment to democracy and solidarity with victims of authoritarianism. This message would have been especially well received in Argentina, which is still healing from its brush with dictatorship. If civil society continues to fail to do so, the G20 can hardly make a difference in its original goal: improving the welfare of the most vulnerable people around the world.

CADAL seeks the activation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter in Nicaragua

The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) calls upon the General Secretary and the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States for the application of article 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter in Nicaragua. This call is in response to the illegitimate exercise of power by Daniel Ortega’s government.

Parliamentary Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Human Rights

(Perfil) Legislators can submit draft declarations condemning humanrights violations in dictatorial countries and ask for declarations from theirrespective governments in intergovernmental organizations; denouncecorrupt electoral processes that are neither fair nor transparent inautocratic regimes; and recognize the work and initiatives of democraticactivists whose lives are at risk.

«Circles of Trust» as a Refugee Policy in Argentina

The Universidad del CEMA’s Political Science and International Relations Department, in conjunction with its Economics Department and CADAL, organized a seminar analyzing immigration as an information problem. The speakers presented an evaluation of the «Circles of Trust» as a viable tool in Argentina’s refugee policy. The seminar was held at the Universidad del CEMA and the speakers included Sybil D. Rhodes, Daniela González Greco, and Eric Cuevas.

CADAL and Transparencia Electoral request that Argentina withdraws from CELAC

It is evident that the CELAC emerges as an initiative of the Alba to politically influence the rest of the countries in the region. For various motives, the CELAC member states that were really committed with the rule of law and the respect of the fundamental liberties have to take advantage of the actual context in Venezuela to abandon this organism that suffers of authoritarians vice in its origins, giving the anti-democratic cases of Venezuelan y Cuban governments.