In a sharp setback for the Bush administration's Latin America policy, the Organization of American States rejected a United States plan on Tuesday to create a committee to monitor the exercise of democracy in the hemisphere.
Instead, the organization agreed, at a meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a declaration that attaches equal or greater emphasis to attacking poverty because of what it calls "the interdependent relationship of democracy and social and economic development."
The organization, which represents 34 states of the Western Hemisphere, voted to approve the resolution at midnight on Tuesday, but the language was not completed until Wednesday by staff members who lingered after the formal meeting.
The above is our spotlight story from this morning's New York Times. (Eli, Francisco and Martha noted it in e-mails.) It's written by Joel Brinkley and entitled "Latin States Shun U.S. Plan to Watch Over Democracy."
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