Background Info

On April 30, 1948, the United States joined many countries in Central and South America to form the Organization of American States (OAS), with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The OAS promotes peace, security, and economic cooperation among member states.
 
All 35 independent nations in North and South America are members of the OAS. In addition, there are dozens of observer nations, including the European Union, Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, Russia, and China.
 
Although the OAS is an influential international organization, it has never been as powerful as other alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). OAS members remain politically independent, and include socialist democracies such as Venezuela as well as capitalist democracies such as the U.S. Even communist Cuba has been admitted to the OAS.

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

alliance

Noun

people or groups united for a specific purpose.

capitalism

Noun

economic system where the free exchange of goods and services is controlled by individuals and groups, not the state.

communist

Noun

person or group of people who support communism, a type of economy where all property, including land, factories and companies, is held by the government.

cooperation

Noun

the act of working together.

economic

Adjective

having to do with money.

headquarters

Noun

place where an organization or project is chiefly located.

influential

Adjective

important; having the ability to lead the opinions or attitudes of others.

international organization

Noun

unit made up of governments or groups in different countries, usually for a specific purpose.

Encyclopedic Entry: international organization

nation

Noun

political unit made of people who share a common territory.

Encyclopedic Entry: nation

observer

Noun

someone who watches, or observes.

security

Noun

safety or stability.

socialist

Noun

person who supports greater community control of the production and distribution of goods and services.

Credits

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Writer

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Producer

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

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