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  • Secretary of State Kerry delivers remarks at the Benjamin Franklin room at the State Department, marking the 20th anniversary of the First Summit of the Americas in 1994, on December 10, 2014. (State Dept. Photo)

    Secretary of State Kerry (December 10, 2014): "Our hemisphere was ahead of the curve in defining democracy as a right – a right to a government by the people and for the people. And we can really be proud of that ..."

  • President Bill Clinton is joined by the other democratically elected leaders from the region attending the First Summit of the Americas at the signing ceremony of the summit declaration in Miami, Florida, Sunday, Dec. 11, 1994. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Secretary of State Kerry (December 7, 2014): "We must reassert the leadership and shared vision our hemisphere signaled in the first Summit of the Americas, which was later enshrined in the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter ... "

  • Ambassador Lomellin addresses the gathering at a farewell reception at the historic headquarters of the Organization of American States, following her formal farewell address to a special session of the Permanent Council. She is accompanied by Ambassador La Celia A. Prince,
Chair of the Permanent Council, and OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, November 12, 2014. (OAS Photo)

    Amb. Lomellin (Nov. 12, 2014): "La Casa de las Americas will continue to remake itself, changing and evolving ... I hope the OAS will continue to be a shelter for our people and the home of democracy, human rights and empowerment for our communities ..."

  • Former Congresswoman and opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, left, greets supporters as she exits the Attorney General Office in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Machado appeared in court to testify after being charged with conspiring to assassinate Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro. Machado, 47, was prohibited from leaving the country in June after she was removed from her National Assembly seat by the ruling party. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf (Dec. 3, 2014): "We continue to call on the Venezuelan government to respect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and release political prisoners ..."

  • Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom addresses the 44th OAS General Assembly meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay, June 4, 2014. (OAS Photo)

    Deputy Secretary of State Higginbottom (June 4, 2014): "The United States believes that a vibrant and active OAS is central to our common vision of creating a peaceful, prosperous and socially inclusive hemisphere."

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