The VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac)which is being held this Tuesday in Buenos Aires, will turn Argentina at the epicenter of political news in a region convulsed by crises of various kinds and bathed by a ‘pink tide’ that once again stains its governments.
The return of the Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to the front page of the political arena after beating Jair Bolsonaro in the elections, leaving behind his imprisonment for corruption, a sentence that was revoked after 580 days in prison, gives another face to the celacwhich his country left in 2020 under the government of the far-right.
Lula, the only “survivor” of the photo of that Summit of the Unity of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in February 2010 in Playa del Carmen (Mexico) and which was the seed of Celac, participates in the VII Summit within the first international trip -which includes Argentina and Uruguay- after assuming his third presidential term.
And he does so amid enormous expectations on the part of his co-religionists, who consider him a key figure in advancing Latin American regional integration, the great final objective of the celacwhich arose as a kind of response to the Organization of American States (OAS) and encompasses 33 countries, all of the Americas except the United States and Canada.
Argentina dismisses its pro tempore presidency on Tuesday, assumed in January 2022, after the VI Summit held in Mexico in September 2021 ended without consensus. However, it could continue for a few months if the only candidacy presented, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, does not achieve sufficient support.
TENSIONS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE
The opposition to the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandezhas openly questioned, even through complaints, the invitation to the conclave to the leaders of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; and Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canelfor what it considers serious attacks on human rights in those three countries.
Upon confirmation of attendance Diaz-Canel and the doubtful -although almost everyone takes its presence for granted- of Ripethe Argentine Executive confirmed days ago, through its spokesperson, Gabriela Cerruti, that “it will receive the presidents that each country elects democratically”, without addressing the opposition’s criticism.
Precisely Ortega will be one of the great absentees, along with the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of a Summit that, for the first time in its history, will have representatives of the 33 member countries, at least 15 of them heads of State or Government.
The president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, who took office after the failed self-coup of Pedro Castillo (2021-2022) and whose country is going through a strong wave of protests, which demands her resignation and which has already left more than 50 dead, will not attend the conclave either.
This institutional crisis will be one of the issues on the table at the Summit, which will also take place after the recent coup attempt in Brazil, the attack suffered on September 1, 2022 by the Argentine vice president, Cristina Fernández, and the cuts to freedoms in countries like Nicaragua, Venezuela or Cuba.
Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Pou’s criticism of Mercosur’s lack of openness to extra-bloc trade agreements or the differences that have arisen between Guatemala and Colombia due to the intention of the Public Ministry of the Central American country to investigate the Colombian Defense Minister, Iván Velásquez, will be other harsh issues. .
In addition, the tensions generated between Ecuador and Argentina as a result of the diplomatic asylum granted by Buenos Aires to María de los Ángeles Duarte, former minister of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), with a firm conviction for corruption; or between Mexico and Argentina during the election process of the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) add pepper to the integration recipe.
The meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean representatives will have exceptional witnesses, such as Chris Dodd, adviser for the Americas to US President Joe Biden, and Charles Michel, president of the European Council. There will also be a video statement from the Chinese authorities.
Lula, Fernández, the Honduran Xiomara Castro, the Colombian Gustavo Petro, the Chilean Gabriel Boric and the Bolivian Luis Arce will attend part of the “pink tide” that dyes the region and that aspires to combat inequality, the climate emergency, migration , drug trafficking, integration, institutional distrust or gender equality, great challenges in the region.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.