Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress [March 14, 2018] [open pdf - 985KB]
"The 115th Congress has continued to debate the role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Western Hemisphere and its utility for advancing U.S. objectives in the region. The United States helped found the OAS in 1948 to establish a multilateral forum in which the nations of the hemisphere could engage one another and address issues of mutual concern. In subsequent decades, OAS decisions often reflected U.S. policy as other member states sought to maintain close relations with the dominant economic and political power in the hemisphere. This was especially true during the early Cold War period, when the United States was able to secure OAS support for initiatives that were controversial in the region, such as a 1962 resolution to exclude Cuba from active participation as a result of its association with the communist bloc. OAS actions again aligned closely with U.S. policy in the 1990s following the end of the Cold War as a result of strong consensus among member states in support of initiatives designed to liberalize markets and strengthen democratic governance."
CRS Report for Congress, R42639