January 15, 2004
SPECIAL SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS: NO END TO NORTH-SOUTH 'DISPUTES'
** Closing to lackluster
reviews, the SSOA was another “lost opportunity."
** Latin, Euro critics
judged it a "nonsensical summit” that confirms the North-South
** Monterrey made some gains against corruption, but fell short on
trade and fighting poverty.
Latins say summit highlights 'chasms' and lack
of trust-- Though pre-summit editorials stressed the need to "regain
trust," most observers judged the Special Summit of the Americas (SSOA) to
be "undermined by dissension and resentment." Latin writers lamented that "unnecessary
disputes" prevented the 34 leaders from making any real advances, with a
Mexican nationalist paper noting that the North and South demonstrated
"how far apart they are regarding a common vision." Capturing the regional skepticism, Brazil's
right-of-center O Globo claimed that rather than fostering consensus,
the "absurd spectacle" just clarified the "divergence of
interests that upset relations among members of the future FTAA." Venezuela's conservative El Universal
more ominously invoked the "dangerous" and "growing ideological
polarization" in the Inter-American system to explain SSOA's "lack of
Euros deride 'Big Brother,' emphasize South is
'disassociating' from North-- European
writers were broadly critical of the "colorless" summit. They voiced dismay, along with Spain's
left-of-center El Pais, that the "two Americas are farther apart
than they have been in a long time."
Some noticed that despite a possible "new deal" for illegal
immigrants, inter-American relations were "far from healthy." Writers agreed with Germany's centrist Der
Tagesspiegel that the summit's outcome shows that Bush's "charm
offensive" south of the border "has fizzled out." In typical anti-U.S. fashion, London's
left-of-center Guardian found it "uncommonly interesting" to
see the "rising level of resistance to U.S. policies and U.S. neglect...among
large and small Latin American countries alike."
Anti-corruption plan wins support, but commitment to fight poverty
is 'disappointing'-- Papers in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Paraguay lauded
the U.S.' "decisive position" to combat corruption and terrorism,
underscoring the need to "comply with the American initiative." Detractors, however, were wary of the
"modest" gains of the "controversial plan." Canada's leading Globe and Mail
instead held that the proposal for an OAS clause to expel countries deemed
corrupt "has driven a new wedge" between the U.S. and Latin
countries. And expressing typical
indignation, Brazil's liberal Folha de Sao Paulo noted that "all of
the major corruption scandals in recent years have occurred in the nation led
by Bush." A main source of
discontent was that more was not done to find ways to "reduce poverty in
the poorest countries" of the hemisphere.
Ecuador's center-left Hoy suggested that the emphasis on U.S.
interests, such as fighting drugs and terrorism and "favoring"
bilateral trade deals, relegated the goal of "improving the living
standards" of the 220 million living in poverty to "second
EDITOR'S NOTE: This report is based on 64
reports from 21 countries, January 10-15.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent
CANADA: "Corruption -- The Salsa Uncle Sam
Columnist Paul Knox commented in the leading Globe and Mail
(1/13): "Corruption is one of the oldest themes in Latin America, where
one of the most common charges levelled at politicians and the rich is illicit
enrichment. At the special Americas summit that opened here yesterday, it has
driven a new wedge between the United States and Latin nations -- already at
odds over trade, political and economic issues. U.S. diplomats arrived in
Monterrey with a controversial plan to act against countries regarded as
corrupt, including barring them from future Americas summits. The move puzzled
and angered Latin diplomats and other observers, who said it was causing
unnecessary friction at a time when governments in the region are showing a
newfound willingness to deny safe haven to bribe-takers. They pointed to the
difficulty of setting up a mechanism to decide when a country has achieved a
level of corruption that warrants action."
"Martin-Bush Talks Must Rebuild Trust"
The left-of-center Toronto Star held
(1/12): "As Prime Minister Paul
Martin prepares to break bread with United States President George Bush at the
Summit of the Americas, a mess of bilateral irritants clutters the table
between them.... There's more than
enough on the table to cloud Martin's first encounters with Bush this week in
Monterrey, Mexico. And Martin is just
the busy problem-solver who may be tempted to try to resolve it all over
breakfast. He should resist. Bush is not a detail man. Martin should aim chiefly to establish a
positive personal rapport, somewhere between Brian Mulroney's fawning over
Ronald Reagan and Chrétien's indifference to provoking Bush. At the same time, Martin needs to send a few
clear messages to break the ice.
Primarily, he must make the case that we're pulling our weight.... And
Ottawa is prepared to swallow misgivings and sign on to the U.S. missile
defence program, chiefly to forestall erosion of our military partnership,
despite doubts about the program's cost, feasibility and utility. In return, Canadians expect not much from
Washington beyond respect for our sovereignty and citizenry, fair dealing on
trade and acceptance that we will approach issues in our own way, true to our
values. Trust, after all, is a two-way
street. American indifference to our
sovereignty, values and interests invites mistrust in Canada and hobbles the
partnership. Canadians expect to be
treated by Americans as friends and allies, not as an afterthought. That's about as much as Martin can hope to
get across over a cup of coffee. There's
not time enough to resolve every irritant that dogs the world's tightest
relationship. But he can set relations
on a better footing, after a season of alienation."
"A Friend Rather Than An Adversary Of The U.S."
Fernando Cibeira, columnist of left-of-center Pagina 12
wrote (1/15): "In spite of the previous spat and gloomy forecasts of the
status of the U.S.-Argentine bilateral relationship, the Argentine Government
was able to verify that the U.S. still considers it as a friend rather than an
adversary. President Kirchner's trip to the SSOA in Monterrey confirmed that he
still has a positive image abroad. According to an important member of the
delegation, this is due to the strength of the presidential address and the
2003 surprising economic figures, which verify that what happened to Argentina
is more than the rebound of a country that sometime touched the bottom of the
well. According to an Argentine
minister, 'Kirchner's advantage is that when he sees Koehler or Bush, he says
'I'll be doing this' and the next time they meet they acknowledge he acted on
"Support for FTAA implementation"
Jorge Garcia, on special assignment in Monterrey
for center-right, business-financial InfoBae, commented (1/13):
"The 34 hemispheric countries gathered in Monterrey will today strongly support
the U.S. trade policy by confirming the FTAA implementation by January 1, 2005
in the final statement of the summit, which will also rescue Argentina's debt
bonds tied to the country's economic growth....
Brazil opposed the inclusion of the FTAA in the text of the Monterrey
statement until the last minute....
Finally, diplomats are reported to have reached an intermediate position
supported by Brazil and that is reported to satisfy U.S. expectations of support for FTAA.... In
the confrontation between the U.S. and Brazil about the content of the
Monterrey statement, Argentina supported the U.S. request and, for the first
time, the Kirchner administration publicly expressed its disagreement with its
main political and commercial partner."
"Summit Or Pique?"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal,
English-language Buenos Aires Herald wrote (1/13): "The Monterrey
summit has been clouded by the new homeland security controls in the U.S. and
Brazil's 'reciprocity'.... The U.S. controls have their own logic against
worldwide terrorism but represent a huge blow to ties with Latin America. There
is no antidote to rising anti-Americanism in this region when its people find
it so much harder to visit or study in the U.S.... Furthermore, the U.S. would like
to use Monterrey and similar continental fora to push for hemispheric free
trade but even in these computerized times, people are an important part of
making trade happen--and people need to move about freely. Yet if the U.S. is
being slightly contradictory in its approach to free trade, much of Latin
America is being foolish about the same issue. Thus Brazil went to Monterrey
adamant against any 2005 deadline for the FTAA. Yet surely they should see that
the acute threat posed by China is all the more reason for an FTAA, not
"No KO Is Expected In The Kirchner-Bush
Martin Rodriguez Yebra, on special assignment in
Monterrey for daily-of-record La Nacion commented (1/13): "No one
expects a KO, not even some kind of confrontation in the highly important
meeting for Argentina between Nestor Kirchner and George W. Bush. The meeting
will focus on three central points...the confirmation of the White House's support
for the Kirchner administration; a request that the Argentine government
multiplies the channels of dialogue with holders of defaulted bonds...; Bush
wants to know what is Kirchner's real opinion about Washington's attitude
toward the country. According to Bielsa, 'the President is careful about not
involving the U.S. in his traditional criticism of multinational lending
agencies. They want him to turn that, which is implicit, into something
explicit'... Another big concern of Bush re Latin America is the Bolivian
"Disagreement Between Argentina And Brazil
Due To The Start Of FTAA Implementation"
Eleonora Gosman, on special assignment in
Monterrey for leading Clarin wrote (1/12): "A fissure appeared in
the Argentine/Brazilian relationship during this SSOA in Monterrey due to a
move of the Bush administration, consisting of diplomatically pressuring the 34
presidents to confirm their decision to adhere the FTAA as of January 1, 2005.
But the Brazilian diplomacy rejected yesterday this proposal, which was not in
the original agenda of the summit, and it harshly warned it does not want to
sign any statement containing deadlines for the start of the FTAA
implementation. This time the Kirchner administration's diplomacy decided to
disagree with its partner in these negotiations. It will not follow the
Right-of-center O Globo commented (1/15): "Everything indicates that President
George W. Bush has devoted little of his precious time to U.S. relations with
Latin America and is only making a concentrated effort in thinking about them
for the upcoming elections. Everyone
remembers that in the 2000 campaign Bush made sweet promises to Latino
voters--promises that certainly got votes but certainly were not kept. Now, as a candidate up for re-election, he
has just announced sympathetic changes in the U.S. immigration policy that should
facilitate--who knows for how long--the life of illegal immigrants.... And in the recent summit in Monterrey--where
one was hoping for something more concrete--he limited himself to presenting
modest proposals combating corruption and terrorism. No wonder one heard criticism in all
directions, especially on economic policy.
[Argentina's] President Nelson Kirchner complained about the lack of
support from the great potentate in Argentina's recovery. President Lula was severe with the Washington
Consensus and called the 90s the 'decade of despair.' President Vicente Fox, in spite of Mexico
being a NAFTA partner, aligned himself with the discontent. In summary, the Monterrey meeting didn't
advance an inch in finding solutions to disputed issues. But it served to make a bit clearer what has
traditionally been confused and indistinct:
the clamorous divergence of interests that upsets relations among
members of the future Free Trade Area of the Americas. Brazil's position in Latin America is also a bit
clearer. It outlined a leadership
perhaps inherent to the relative size of the country, and owing in part to the
personality of President Lula. After an
awkward beginning... he better adjusted his foreign policy. And today he appears to be more well balanced
to remain equidistant between provocation and subservience."
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo editorialized (1/13):
"Why must the show go on?
Why did such the absurd spectacle that began yesterday and ends today in
Mexico have to be happen?... Never has
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien's idea [of convoking the Monterrey
Summit] made clear the goals of an initiative that is totally devoid of
practical meaning, as the 'agenda' has demonstrated. In truth, there is no reason to believe that
the conference will generate any advances toward resolving disputes involving
relations between the America south of the Rio Grande and the U.S.... If the leaders of the Americas believe that
this type of show must go on, one has to ask:
"Presidents In The Circus"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political columnist Janio de
Freitas commented (1/13): "Bush is
in Mexico to insist on the creation of an OAS clause to expel nations
experiencing serious problems with corruption.
But all of the major corruption scandals in recent years have occurred
in the nation led by Bush. They are not
restricted to the U.S., but have deleterious effects on other nations.... Brazilian subsidiaries of U.S. firms are
still suffering the effects of fraud in the U.S.... Presidential meetings have been more a circus
performance than a diplomatic encounter."
Economic columnist Miriam Leitao discussed ALCA
(FTAA) and Brazil's unwillingness to discuss it at the Summit of the Americas in
right-of-center O Globo (1/13): "Yesterday's meeting in Monterrey
opened with a split between Brazil and Argentina. Even our closest partners thinks the
Brazilian position to continue being against mentioning the FTAA in a joint
communiqué is exaggerated. 'We don't see
where the problem is,' said (Argentina's) Economic Minister Roberto Lavagna,
showing he didn't agree with Brazil. It's a waste to spend time on this type of
dispute. That Brazil doesn't want to
discuss the FTAA in the meeting is fine....
If Brazil thinks it (negotiations) should be delayed, it should present
a proposal for this.... The meeting with President George Bush was at midnight Brazil time. At this hour, press coverage was
limited. Before the meeting no one was
very worried about the climate between the two (presidents), which has always
been good, but each time there is more concern about the constant quarrels
between the two countries.... Those who waste ammunition on false issues would
be better off concentrating on relevant questions. In this meeting, what's important is to find
ways to reduce poverty in the poorest countries."
Leo Zuckermann wrote in the nationalist Universal
(1/14): “It appears that the most
valuable thing from the summit in Monterrey was the meeting that the Mexican
president had with his American counterpart.
When all is said and done, this meeting appears to be a turning point in
the damaged relationship between Mexico and the United States. They can now return to repairing
communication on themes that worry them and us (security and migration, for
"Slip-Ups In Monterrey"
The lead editorial in the left-of-center La Jornada (1/14)
stated: “If the Fox government really
wants to establish its independence from the U.S. State Department and its
respect for the sovereignty of its brother nations, it will have to withdraw
from the operation established by the Organization of American States to
'observe' the development of the referendum in question (against Hugo Chavez),
repair deteriorated bilateral relations with Venezuela and in the future avoid
declarative collisions such as what happened in Monterrey when Fox underscored
that 'unchanging' differences in views existed between him and Chávez.”
"Summits And Chasms"
Froylán M. Lópex Narváez observed in the independent La Reforma
(1/14): “In the face of urgency and
gravity, the real growth of poverty and Latin American struggles, the fuss in
Monterrey is perceived as a circumstantial instrument for the feared
re-election of Bush junior, for the expressions of complaints and challenges by
those who think and act on the margins and even against the principles of the
resuscitated Monroe Doctrine...and the opportunistic actions of governments
that have their hands in their own and in someone else’s pockets, never giving
priority to the head and what is moral, to intelligence, to justice, to culture
and fundamental changes. More chasms
than summits, took place.”
An editorial in nationalist El Sol de Mexico noted
(Internet Version, 1/14): “North and
South demonstrated how far apart they are regarding a common vision for the
future of the hemisphere. In fact, the
positions are even further apart than they were 10 years ago when Bill Clinton
launched the initiative for a hemispheric free trade accord.... The Special Summit of the Americas in
Monterrey served for all kind of absurdities, but not to reach a common
purpose. Some presidents used the
situation as a forum to complain and repeat the hackneyed cliches against
globalization and neoliberalism; others
demanded equity on the migration issue or expressed their distance from certain
unfriendly heads of state. In short,a
type of high level branding which resulted in another lost opportunity for
making any firm advances. Meanwhile, the
EU keeps on advancing and expanding....
Though it also suffers from asymmetries between states...they have found
solutions to overcoming the differences in Monterrey appear
insurmountable. What I wonder is
whether these differences are really as unsolvable as they appear or whether
Latin American presidents lack the intelligence, vision and temerity of their European counterparts,
because one thing is certain: the future is not going to wait for us forever.”
"Incomplete Integration; Summit Half-Full"
A commentary in business El Financiero observed (Internet
Version, 1/14): “Though the presidents
from the 34 countries signed the Nuevo Leon Declaration, the Summit of the
Americas concluded without reaching the promised hemispheric integration. On the contrary, it closed with the aged
Bolivian dispute to get Chile to allow access to the sea, and the Venezuelan
'reservations' about supporting the FTAA.... They committed to defining an
agenda for governability; to a qualitative transformation of public
administration; to comply with the InterAmerican Democratic Charter, and take
immediate coordinated action when democracy is under threat in any country on the
continent. They promised to refuse to
grant refuge to any corrupt officials...in addition to cooperating in the
extradition and restitution of the affected parties; likewise they offered
mutual judicial assistence.... President
Fox called for strengthening the fight against terrorism while emphasizing that
he is not Bush’s ‘lackey’...but rather, as a Latin American leader, is seeking
a ‘real solution to the problems of such countries as Bolivia, Venezuela and
Fray Bartolome commented in independent Reforma
(1/13): "Not a few people were
surprised to hear from George W. Bush's mouth that Vicente Fox would also
support the referendum against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. There are people who are already beating at
their chests and saying that room will have to be made in the General Archives
of the Nation for the now-defunct Estrada Doctrine. Because they believe that this means that
Mexico's foreign policy has already pronounced the principle of not intervening
in other countries' internal affairs as dead. But others believe that this is
more like a diplomatic wink by Mexico to give greater substance to the new
relationship between the friendly presidents.
Something like 'one on Chavez in exchange for the ones on Iraq.' Or it was simply a courtesy, after the
announcement of Bush's immigration plan....
Mr. Bush finally made a concession to his work discipline and attended
the state dinner that was held last night in the Nuevo Leon Government
Palace.... What was very impressive was
to note the contrast yesterday between the arrivals of two presidents at the
Monterrey Summit. First, there were the limousines, the helicopters, the
military jets, hundreds of security agents -- all James Bond types -- and two
jumbo jets carrying a president and his presidential entourage. With witnesses still impacted by this
display, a propeller-driven plane appeared on the horizon and there was only a
taxi waiting for it. One of them is president of Haiti and the other of the
United States: guess which is
"Agreements And Disagreements In
Old-guard nationalist El Universal
declared (Internet version, 1/13):
"To leave the shadows of illegality along with all the dangers that
it implies represents a clear advantage for migrant workers who would benefit
from the proposal by President George W. Bush which has been accepted as a good
first step by Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the intention of this initiative is
to stem the flow of illegal migration to the U.S. ... For the moment, President Bush...has
dedicated himself to highlighting the positive effects of his proposal but it
is necessary to ponder some of the implications, most of all because they
likewise depend on whether the initiative is approved on Capitol Hill--not as
convinced of the virtues..... The only
thing that really might discourage these workers, and all the rest, from trying
to cross the border, would be stimuli that contribute to creating employment in
their places of origin which cannot be achieved without an expansive
development program financed from many diverse sources not only the one that
has been approved by U.S. Congress.
Fortunately, financial development organs that would be interested in an
initiative of this type exist and such an initiative would be a good topic of
conversation between Mexico and U.S. It
is clear, nevertheless, that other aspects of the migration problem are lacking
and will have to be resolved with a series of reforms added to the pioneering
proposal raised by President Bush. On
the other hand, the summit's chance to obtain any real advances are obstructed
by unnecessary disputes."
COLOMBIA: "Bush’s Back
Human Right Watch Director, Jose Miguel Vivanco opined in top
national daily El Tiempo (1/13):
“After being part of the Summit of the Americas in Mexico, President
Bush should think about the reasons why the good standing of the U.S. in Latin
America has decreased during his presidential term.”
"Summit Of The Americas"
Former minister of the treasury Abdon Espinosa-Valderrama wrote in
top national daily El Tiempo (1/13):
“The Summit... in Monterrey has...not restricted the agenda for free
trade, but rather has extended it to real problems like stalled or worsening
development, unemployment, an increase of poverty, and democratic governability
in Latin America.”
"In Search of Lost Time"
An editorial in top national El Tiempo
maintained (1/11): "The context of
the Summit of the Americas...will be very different from that of the last
meeting, held three years ago in Quebec (Canada).... In a number of places, there has been a resurgence
of anti-American sentiment, and a center-left movement—led by Brazilian
President Lula da Silva and Argentina President Nestor Kirchner—has gathered
strength in the southern part of the Hemisphere and stands, on some issues, in
vehement opposition to the White House's positions.... Paradoxically, the best results of George
Bush's policy towards his neighbors to the south have been in the trade arena:
Congress granted him the authority to negotiate—the famous fast track—that it
had denied Bill Clinton, and based on that authority, he sealed the deal with
Chile, pushed the agreement with Central America forward, and will negotiate
agreements with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic
this year.... In summary, the greatest
achievement that could come out of the Monterrey summit is regaining trust.
Because in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks and the Bush
administration's subsequent military offensives in Afghanistan and Iraq, there
is a perception that Latin America (with the exception of Colombia...) is a
region that has been forgotten by Washington. It is up to the White House,
then, to give convincing signs that the invocation of 'our region' is something
more than hollow words."
ECUADOR: "The Agenda
Of The Monterrey Summit"
Quito's center left Hoy editorialized (1/13): "The Bush Administration has favored
bilateral negotiations. The bilateral
trade agreement with Chile has entered into force; there is one approved with
Central America and negotiations with Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador have
been given the green light. However, the
Department of State's primary concern centers around the fight against
terrorism and drug trafficking, relegating to second place the goal of
improving the living standards for 220 million people in Latin America who live
in poverty. This Summit will show if the
U.S. has a true interest in the region or if it continues considering it merely
an extension of its own back yard."
"Free Trade Agreement"
Francisco Rosales Ramos wrote in Quito's center-left Hoy
(1/12): "The subject is
controversial in itself, and there are already sectors that are radically
opposed to any agreement with the U.S, based more on ideological than economic
reasons. The truth is that Ecuador
cannot hide from reality. It would be
catastrophic to remain at the margins of a trade accord that includes
neighboring countries. At the same time,
Ecuadorian negotiations must be firm and smart, because this is not about
obediently signing a document prepared by the U.S., but rather obtaining
conditions that would provide opportunities for development in Ecuador."
"A Fleeting Moment In Monterrey"
Quito's left sensationalist La Hora
editorialized (1/11): "With uneven
economies and social situations, the Summit appears as a scenario for examining
the model imposed by Washington. We
should ask ourselves during this meeting if the FTAA and the fight against
drugs and terrorism benefit the poor in Latin America. We should look instead for ways to prevent
the appearance of new 'armies' of poor.
All difficult issues, of course, to resolve. In the end, the Special Summit of Monterrey
could, unfortunately, become just another summit that addresses no new issues,
with only lots of photo-ops, a fleeting moment and nothing else."
Summit Of The Americas And The Presidential Inauguration"
Luis Fernando Andrade commented in leading daily Prensa Libre
(1/14): “In this special summit, the
government of the United States, to set an example of its decisive position on
fighting corruption, declared it ‘will suspend entry...of persons engaged in or
benefiting from corruption’. The
official statement includes the spouses, children or household members of said
persons.... The fight against corruption
and impunity has fortunately reached the international scene.... Our new government authorities have the
benefit of not being alone in this difficult but urgent task.”
Reaffirms Fight Against Corruption And Poverty"
Center-right Managua daily La Prensa commented (1/14): "President Bolaños pointed out that the
main fight for democratic countries should be the fight against poverty because
this is the main enemy of the development of the population."
"Bolaños Meets With Bush Today"
Maria Jose Uriarte noted in center-right Managua
La Prensa (1/13): "President Enrique Bolaños will meet
today with U.S. President George Bush and, among the themes to be talked about
with the U.S. President, is the theme of the recent immigration status reform
which would benefit some 60 to 80 thousand Nicaraguans living in that
"Chavez Comes With His Own Agenda"
Leftist Managua El Nuevo Diario ran an
article (1/13) taken from AFP regarding the Special Summit of the Americas
(1/13): "Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez came to the Summit of the
Americas with his own agenda, asking that this be a 'Summit of the People',
while US. President George Bush warned him to watch the referendum pending
against him closely".
"The Summit of Monterrey"
An editorial in center-right La Prensa
stated (1/12): "This Special Summit
was asked for by the United States to achieve support and solidarity in the
fight against international terrorism and aggression...since it is the nation
most affected by these themes, because of its character and reputation of being
the paradigm and bulwark of democracy in the world.... Apart from the fact that there are a great
number of declarations and agreements which have never been met, no Latin
American politician would implement them unless it meant more U.S. dollars....
And the reason why themes such as terrorism and FTAA will not be included in
the agenda for the summit is because of demagogic and leftist leaders from some
Latin American countries--who even sympathize in secret with terrorists and
their criminal actions against 'the Yankees, enemies of humanity'...do not want
to discuss these themes and have imposed their will on the United
States.... So, in general, President
Enrique Bolaños has gone to Monterrey to go for a walk.... In spite of this, President Bolaños will have
the chance to say that the only way to make economies grow in these countries
in a steady and vigorous way and to better distribute wealth with justice and
social equity is to leave populist and nationalist boasting aside and to
dedicate oneself to eliminating corruption, to giving independence to justice
and to strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law. And, we hope he says this, because everything
else is rhetoric and a waste of time and taxpayers' money."
PANAMA: "As of
Government critic La Prensa argued (1/14): "The Monterrey summit demonstrated that
the countries and leaders that patronize corruption will be singled out as
pariahs in the international community, and as such, will be left out of
benefits and opportunities for free trade and international cooperation.... Every misuse of public funds and every time
that Panama allows itself to be a shelter for illicit monies and people of
questionable credentials another door will close to the country and its
leaders. The warning is tough."
Conservative El Panama America editorialized (1/14): "Those corrupt individuals from the
public sector, from today and yesterday...after Monterrey, they and their
families will become pariahs, rich and without visas.... Their monies will be pursued and their houses
in Miami confiscated. No one will give
them asylum, and on the contrary, will require judgment without pardon."
"New U.S. Hemispheric Strategy"
Conservative El Panama America ran a
two-part editorial (1/11-12): Part
I: "In Monterrey, Mexico, the new
U.S. hemispheric strategy for Latin America
is being presented...following the 2nd Summit of the Americas in April
2001 in Quebec, Canada.... The United States has delayed in outlining a new
vision for the continent...every 30 years, in the United States there is a statesman
who remakes a coherent continental vision, placing his own stamp on
it... Are we really in the presence of a new hemispheric strategy? The answer will be found in time and
facts. It is enough for us to say that
Colin Powell presents his own three principals for this strategy....
strengthening of democracy, promotion of a good governance, and protection of
human rights and basic liberties. In
developing these principles, Powell mentioned the fight against corrupted public
servants as its cornerstone."...
Part II: " In order to promote good governance, governments in the
region should pursue policies that promote economic development.... Education
is another important aspect of good governance.... Speaking for ourselves, we can but welcome
this new strategy. However, its
effectiveness will depend on President Bush's reelection and his will to
effectively complete it."
In its lead editorial, largest circulation and
most influential Paraguayan daily ABC Color stated (1/13): "The suitability or unsuitability of the
FTAA...fundamentally depends on ourselves.
In the process in which Paraguay becomes a serious state, insitutionalized,
thoughtful, and learns to work well, FTAA could be singularly beneficial. It depends upon us to know how to take
advantage of this enormous market we are being offered."
"To Severely Punish The Corrupt"
The second major circulation left-of-center Ultima
Hora held in its lead editorial (1/10):
"The United States will request at the Special Summit of the
Americas...that safe haven not be provided to officials from other countries,
who figure in serious corruption cases.
What must be said about this is that Paraguay not only must comply with
the American initiative with which the U.S. is poised to lead the international
forum, but also has to punish its own corrupt officials, who are still doing so
much harm to our Republic."
"The Monterrey Summit"
Center-left La Republica observed
(1/12): "Leaders of the 34 countries
of the region will meet today...in the IV Summit of the Americas.… It is an
extraordinary meeting held at the U.S. initiative...which is seen by many as
part of President Bush's offensive to win re-election.… He will bring in two main issues: the establishment
of the FTAA in 2005 and the need to increase the fight against corruption.…
However, the regional scene is more… tense than it was on occasion of the three
former summits.…It seems to be real that the FTAA will not begin in 2005 due to
the opposition of Brazil and Venezuela.… [On the other hand] any initiative
that might imply Cuba's isolation will be subject of discrepancies given the
presence of left-wing oriented governments… Venezuela's oil sales to Cuba, the
close relationship between President Lula and Fidel Castro and recent
Argentina's approach to Cuba...might be other topics of disagreement...in
addition to the U.S. dissatisfaction with the measures put in place by Brazil
as retaliation for the new migratory controls in the U.S.… The fight against
corruption and terrorism will certainly have no objections, but we will need to
see what the proposals are to fight poverty.…
The panorama is not so encouraging "
"A New Summit Of The Americas"
Internationalist Ignacio Basambrio argued in
pro-business Gestion (1/12):
"The Monterrey Summit of the Americas has not motivated the
enthusiasm former summits did.… The
people of Latin America have stop believing--or their convictions are
weakened--among other things, about the establishment of a great economic block
with the U.S.… Unfortunately, the events that occurred after the Summit of
Quebec in 2001 have created more and greater concerns that are now the backdrop
of the Monterrey Summit.… Little has been done to advance hemispheric cooperation
in a spirit of solidarity [in consistency with] the commitments [of
Quebec]… In spite of the fact that the
countries of the region --particularly Peru--
have maintained free and open economies, the positive impact on the
majority of the [marginal] population...is not perceived.… The Summit...will
not start in the most auspicious way.… It is therefore necessary that
sincerity --and not protocol speeches--
be the guiding principle of the event."
VENEZUELA: "Cold War
Foreign Affairs expert María Teresa Romero held in leading
conservative daily El Universal (1/14):
"The reason for this special Summit of the Americas was a realistic
review of the deteriorated status of the region and an update of the goals and
strategies in regard to issues as complicated as that of the economic growth
along with equity, social development and democratic governance. Technical matters, a wide agenda, the short
time of the meeting, the fact that it was called for on short notice, let alone
the 'uselessness of the summits,' like Chávez said, not even the current
regional diplomatic frictions or the different logical priorities of each
country, can explain the lack of achievement of a substantial agreement. There is something deeper and more
dangerous. It is the growing ideological
polarization underlying the current Inter-American system. The gap between the two opposing political
viewpoints that have always coexisted in the hemisphere has widened so much
since September 11 attacks in the U.S. that it is almost impossible to
bridge. This is the real stumbling
block. We have a new regional cold war
where there is no room for vague stances.
It is necessary to take sides.
Where does Venezuela stand?"
Pro-government tabloid Diario
VEA director, Guillermo García Ponce asserted (1/14): "The Summit of the Americas is
over. Now, things are different. Americans can no longer impose their policy
by force, in the 'Old West' style. New
winds blow in South America. The
neo-liberal model of savage capitalism has run out of resources. President Chávez' speech opens perspectives
different from submissiveness. Venezuela
takes initiatives without an inferiority complex, puts forward new proposals
and denounces the American intervention.
The resolve of our people to defend their independence, sovereignty,
identity and interests will not be contained."
"The South Raises Its Voice"
The English language newspaper Daily Journal (1/13) ran an
English language version of the editorial of afternoon liberal daily Tal
Cual stating (1/12): "For the first time in history, a Yankee
government will meet with its Latin American and Caribbean counterparts at a
time when the five principal economies of the region have shown a definite
inclination toward independence from the policies of their northern
neighbor. Bush and his band of
neo-conservatives are as yet unable to understand the new language of Latin
America and the Caribbean and want to maintain the same stance, now
ill-advised, as established by Cold-War guidelines. Ms. Rice, whose government maintains
excellent relations with the Pervez Musharraf military dictatorship in
Pakistan, questions the actions of Kirchner in re-establishing relations with
Cuba - forgetting about the times when there wasn't a military dictatorship in
Latin America that did not have the approval of the U.S. government. From now on, the U.S. administration will
have to sit down and negotiate on terms that are no longer those of the Cold
Political analyst Alberto Garrido opined in leading conservative El
Universal (1/13): "The time
when businesses (oil) mattered more than global geopolitics in the U.S. policy
is over. Today, Chávez perturbs Bush's
promise to finally isolate Fidel Castro; he prevents Plan Colombia from
developing, and is an obstacle to the FTAA.
But the period of time the White House is giving itself to attempt a
definite removal of Hugo Chávez coincides with the time limit to know what is
going to happen with the presidential recall vote, seen as a 'peaceful and
democratic' way of taking Chávez out of power.
If it fails, the U.S. will try to activate three 'final' solutions - not
necessarily exclusive--for the Chávez 'case': a) the 'Andeanization' of Plan
Colombia, b) pressure on the OAS so that it applies the Democratic Charter, and
c) a hardening of its political-diplomatic stance, in the hope that it may be
combined with an action of the Opposition to provoke the fall of the
revolutionary government. The direct
invasion (legitimized by the global war) would take place in the last resort
(unless exceptional situations emerge), if all of the other instruments
"Meeting In Monterrey"
Leading liberal El Nacional editorialized (1/12): "The hemisphere could not delay the
revision of its problems until 2005 in Buenos Aires, because the reality is
pressing.... The democratic institutions
work badly or don't work at all, and the actions that question them create a
propitious environment for destabilization, like what has happened in this part
of the hemisphere, especially in the Andean countries.... Due to diverse factors, the rule of law has
seriously eroded and there's an environment of crisis. That's why governance will be one of the
issues to be addressed at the summit.
Although this is an issue that worries the entire hemisphere, there's no
doubt that in issues of governance, domestic decisions are the ones that
matter. International declarations and
commitments are worthless if political practices inside the countries go the
opposite way, and if ambitions to control societies, like what happens in
Venezuela, damage and thwart the rule of law.... After a long oblivion,
President George W. Bush has turned his eyes to the hemisphere again.... The Democratic Inter-American Charter will
have to be seen within the framework of the persistent challenges posed to
democracy in the hemisphere. The Summit
may be brief, but the agenda is not. The
heads of state will have a chance to review a pressing economic and political
The left-of-center Guardian editorialized
(Internet version, 1/15): "There
was no disguising the disenchantment felt with the Bush administration by many
of Latin America's leaders at this week's Summit of the Americas in Monterrey,
Mexico. There was no surprise, either,
in the fact that what little progress was made was focused on fence-mending
between the U.S. and its contiguous neighbors and Nafta partners, Canada and
Mexico. Both countries fell out of favor
in Washington over their opposition to the Iraq war. Both have now received, in effect, a
presidential pardon.... This mutual
back-scratching rather left the other 31 national leaders out in the cold. But again, there was no surprise in
that. Being either ignored by
Washington, or lectured from afar, is the common experience.... What is uncommonly interesting now, however,
is the rising level of resistance to U.S. policies and U.S. neglect that is
manifest among large and small Latin American countries alike. This was evident in Mr. Bush's failure to win
unreserved backing for his version of the pro-democracy, anti-corruption agenda
or his cherished region-wide free trade area.
This latter project now looks certain to miss its 2005 start date,
hobbled by the continuing impasse over developed world agricultural subsidies
that wrecked last year's WTO talks in Cancun."
The independent Financial Times (1/15): "A new deal for illegal migrants in the
U.S.; backing from Washington for fresh multilateral efforts to shore up
Bolivia's battered democracy; and, at this week's Summit of the Americas in
Monterrey, an ambitious agreement to promote small business and state reform in
the hemisphere. It would be easy to get
the sense that President George W. Bush's administration was mending fences
with its poorer neighbours south of the Rio Grande. In reality, however, inter-American relations
are far from healthy. Yet economic
stagnation and social instability have undermined U.S. influence in the
region. Simmering tensions between north
and south were reflected in Monterrey, with friction over issues such as trade
and anti-corruption measures.... It is
particularly worrying that short-term political considerations appear to have
played a part in the sudden flurry of U.S. interest in Latin America.... To be effective, U.S. policy needs to rise
above such short-term political considerations.
More consistent high-level attention from the U.S. towards the region is
"Divisions Have Led To Stagnation"
Frederic Faux in right-of-center Le Figaro
(1/14): “In the end this meeting will
have been marked by George W. Bush’s campaign for re-election and his second
honeymoon with Mexico’s president.… The American president did not address the
issue of Latin America but of Latin Americans in the U.S., this was made
obvious during the press conference following his bilateral meeting with Vicente
The European Syndrome"
Richard Labeviere told listeners on the French
worldwide broadcasting system RFI (1/13):
“This marks George Bush’s big return to the Latin American scene. By announcing the temporary regularization of
illegal immigrants last week, the U.S. president underlined the importance of
the Hispanic vote for the November elections.... Yesterday George Bush, ever faithful to his
role as the indefatigable exporter of democracy, appealed for the end of Fidel
Castro’s regime.... These outbursts of
imperialism cannot be helpful when a large part of the countries of the
sub-continent are viscerally wary of Washington’s interference in their
affairs.... In the last ten years Latin
America has clearly swung to the left...and the new Brasilia-Buenos Ares axis
is intent at countering the U.S. obsession with free trade.... Brazil and Argentina would also like to
create a political union that would not be dominated by the hegemony of the U.S.
hyperpower. Could it be that the Summit
of the Americas might turn into a sort of European Council meeting?”
"America’s Face-Off With The Americas"
An editorial by Francoise Crouigneau in economic
right-of-center Les Echos averred (1/12): “The Summit of the Americas should have
marked a further consecration of George W. Bush as the president of an
un-equaled superpower. Instead the
Summit...may be undermined by dissension and resentment. The time when the newly elected occupant of
the White House stated that he would make Latin America one of his foreign
policy priorities seems far away.… Since then the pre-emptive war on Iraq,
denounced by Canada, Mexico and Chile, has upset priorities and taken its toll
on a number of alliances.... [Despite]
the anti-American sentiment that has reappeared south of the Rio Grande, Bush
knows that the Hispanic vote is as decisive today as it was in 2000. In light of this the Summit in Monterrey will
be a test of his strategy for re-election....
What is at stake in this face-off between America and the Americas goes
well beyond global commerce.”
"The Backyard Rebels"
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich argued
(1/15): "The U.S. should definitely
have understood that the South is disassociating itself from the North.... The list of critics is getting longer and is
headed by Brazil's President Lula and his Argentinean colleague
Kirchner.... In the meantime, George W.
Bush has turned into the most unpopular leader of the region. While left-leaning ideas developed in Buenos
Aires and La Paz, Washington has stubbornly stuck to its crusade against
terrorism and relied on the forces of the markets. Many voters no longer consider neo-liberal
plans, often installed by military dictatorships, to be the solution.... Many Latin Americans demand new concepts and
are suspicious of an All-American free trade zone.... Bush must send signals. Papers for illegal immigrants are only one
step. But the United States cannot call
upon other countries to open their borders, while it closes off its own
ones. Enormous subsidies for U.S.
agriculture do not fit the liberal rhetoric.
Such contradictions will mainly aid populists."
Hildegard Stausberg had this to say in right-of-center Die Welt
of Berlin (1/15): "It is right that
the Summit of the Americas has given the elimination of poverty highest
priority, but this was not Washington's prime goal. Seen from this angle, the outcome of the
summit is, at first sight, dissatisfying for Washington. President Bush wanted a definite date for the
implementation of the FTAA, but he failed with his plan. But the final communiqué mentions the FTAA as
an instrument that 'improves economic growth and fights poverty.' It is a success of U.S. diplomacy of having
this included in the communiqué despite Brazilian and Venezuelan
"The Other Americans"
Armin Lehmann noted in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin
(1/14): "The shaking of hands is no longer as cordial as it was in the
past, and George W. Bush's smile looks artificial. The Summit of the Americas
shows that the charm offensive during the first two years of the U.S. president
among the neighbors in the South has fizzled out.... Now the Americans are impatient and want to
use force to implement the envisioned free trade zone from Alaska to Tierra del
Fuegos, and this despite the need of many southern American nations for talks
and their justified concerns of being the losers in this partnership. This is why the relationship that slowly
warmed has quickly cooled again.... This new cohesiveness is remarkable in view
of the growing number of politically unstable countries, but it is no more than
a symbol. As long as the geo-political
insignificance of Latin America and their financial dependency on Washington do
not change, none of those countries really wants to seriously jeopardize its
relationship with Washington."
Peter Burghardt opined in an editorial in
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (1/13): "For a moment, all 34 American leaders
with the exception of Fidel Castro will be seen on a group picture in
Monterrey, but George W. Bush will be an alien element. The family members from North and South
America have fallen out with each other and the Texan has done little to change
this, even though Bush made Latin America his personal business when he entered
office in January of 2001.... Three lost
years lay between Bush's initial promise and his idea of January 2004--and of
course 9/11. Bush interests in Latin
America disappeared under the rubble of the Twin Towers.... But Latin America has become
recalcitrant.... An anti-American and
anti-globalization wave is slopping over the Caribbean and the Andes...and the
aversion against Bush's high-handed foreign policy is even uniting neighbors,
who are politically not always very close to each other.... But the opponents will not go too far, since
there are financially dependent. This
shows the paradoxical situation of the inner-American disputes. For many Latin American nations, support by
the IMF and the United States are vital, especially for Brazil and bankrupt
Argentina, which still does not repay its debt.
But they cannot afford a lasting dispute. It is a pragmatic form of the tango.... Without its underpayed immigrant workers, the
U.S. economy would collapse, and Latin America's economies would also collapse
without their money transfers. Many
Latinos may hate the United States, but if they had a chance, they would be in
the United States tomorrow."
ITALY: "Bush 'Welcomes' Canada to
Marco Valsania commented in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore
(1/14): "George W. Bush, on a diplomatic mission at the Summit of the
Americas in Monterrey, mends the Iraqi tears alongside the ones of world trade.
The U.S. President yesterday opened the Iraq reconstruction contracts to
Canada.... The White House also re-launched relations with Mexico, which had
chilled due to U.S. stiffening on immigration. On the eve of his Latin American
trip, Bush passed the most significant reform regarding illegal immigrants,
which hypothesizes the temporary legalization of millions of immigrants.... The
summit was less successful on the U.S.'s political-commercial objective in its
hemisphere: the agreement to create a single market from Alaska to Tierra del
Fuego by 2005. The summit's final communiqué promotes the idea of a single
market but without establishing a deadline. The U.S. proposal to ban corrupt
governments from future summits also fell through."
"The Americas Have A Divine Right To Freedom"
Maurizio Molinari commented in centrist, influential La Stampa
(1/14): "Threats for Cuba and an opening for Canada. The Summit of the
Americas, which concluded last night in Monterrey, Mexico, saw U.S. President
George Bush operate on various diplomatic fronts. The message to the partners
of the Western hemisphere was 'free trade and democracy,' with the explicit
request to cooperate to isolate Cuba and to topple Fidel Castro.... Cuba is the
only country from the area which was not invited to the summit, as was the case
for the summit in Quebec City in 2001. Moreover, Bush wants to exclude it from
the free inter-American trade agreement to be implemented by 2005."
"Trade, Bush Re-launches"
Mario Platero noted in leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore
(1/13): "It is unlikely that any
progress will be made at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey toward a
continental trade market by 2005, but certainly a big step forward was taken to
reinforce relations between the U.S. and Mexico.... It was Bush who resumed dialogue by proposing
last week the 'normalization' of an estimated 8 million illegal U.S.
workers.... Bush's proposal was announced
with perfect timing, since the problem concerning illegal flows of immigrants
is at the center of multilateral talks at this summit.... It is not a given that the new initiatives in
farm policies or immigration will contribute to removing the obstacles that
will lead to a global market by 2005....
The political winds...make it practically impossible today to pursue a
continental project. Argentina, which
will host the fourth annual summit next year, in order to deal with the
financial crisis, has introduced policies that do not fit with the ideals of a
free market. The same thing goes for
Brazil, which is more determined than ever, especially after President Lula
stepped into power, to steer clear of a single market that from a local
viewpoint would only benefit the U.S.
Venezuela also is in the middle of a political earthquake and Bolivia is
dealing with internal hostilities towards globalization as well. In Monterrey, we will have to accept slow
"South Of Bush, North Of Lula"
Maurizio Chierici noted in pro-democratic left
party L'Unità (1/12): "It's
only the first chapter of a heralded confrontation: will the other America be Bush or Lula's
continent? In Monterrey, Mexico, the
gathering of American countries gives way to a scenario that was unthinkable
only a year ago. Today, for the first
time, the superpower must compete with a reality that is changing without
revolutions or guerrillas. Around the
Brazilian president grows the impatience of those that aren't willing to silently
adapt to Washington's diplomacy. And in
the meantime poverty grows.... Behind
the kindness of the conference hosts, tensions between Mexico and the U.S.
remain high. The law announced by Bush
which would give residency and work permits to 11 million illegal immigrants,
mostly Chicanos, has been accepted by President Fox, but it has evoked
indignation of bishops, humanitarian organizations and Mexican workers' unions
in the U.S. For Bush it meant an electoral
card. He was hoping to gain the votes of
foreigners. [This new law] would
introduce the possibility of a normal three-year job with social security
benefits. But after three years the
workers must return home."
RUSSIA: "Bush Divides
The Americas Into Good And Bad Countries"
Anton Bilzho commented in reformist Gazeta (1/15): "For all the differences, the United
States and the rest of the Americas stopped short of falling out with one
another completely. Bush had very good
news for participants in the summit, declaring that illegal immigrants in the
United States who have crossed the border in the last few years will get
three-year work visas.... This is a real
sacrifice made to win more Hispanic votes in California, Florida, and Chicago. With Mexicans making up the bulk of those
people, Bush could not have picked a better place and time for his
statement. At least Mexican President
Vincent Fox appreciated the idea."
Maksim Makarychev said in official government Rossiyskaya
Gazeta (1/14): "Some countries have reason enough to bear a grudge
against Washington. In their opinion,
after September 11, 2001, the United States radically changed its attitude
toward its neighbors as it not only tried to monopolize decision-making in that
part of the world but started to apply stringent immigration rules to Latin
Americans.... Washington is pushing the
idea of a free trade zone as its chief bet.
But its opponents believe that with 200 million people below the poverty
line in the Western Hemisphere, it is more relevant to speak of fighting
inequality first, as free trade can't solve economic problems of the
"Rich North And Poor South"
Andrey Zlobin commented in reformist Vremya Novostey
(1/14): "After the 9/11 terrorist attacks Washington turned away from Latin
America, concentrating on Iraq and the war on terrorism. In Monterrey, Big Brother tried to change
that by opening his arms for the neighbors.
But fraternization was not to be.
Neither the farewell photo of the leaders of the 34 states nor the final
declaration could hide a chasm between the rich North and the poor South."
Vladimir Kara Murza reported in business-oriented Kommersant
(1/13): "In recent years countries
in the Western Hemisphere have seen an unheard-of change of guard. Experts joke that the current OAS summit is
more like a 'familiarization' meeting, with the heads of state coming over to
introduce themselves to each other, leaving important issues aside until the next
summit in Argentine in 2005. Evidently,
that explains the almost complete lack of interest among antiglobalists."
AUSTRIA: "Monterrey Is A Missed Opportunity"
Senior editor Helmut L. Mueller opined in
independent Salzburger Nachrichten (1/14): “With the Monterey summit,
Washington wanted to demonstrate its policy of good neighborship towards the
Latinos. Instead, this meeting has shown just how far the two Americas have
drifted apart.… The feeling on the Latin American subcontinent has turned:
Washington’s neo-liberal line has not proved to be a recipe against social
misery – on the contrary, it has made poverty even more widespread.… Brazil’s
President Lula and Argentine’s head of state Kirchner have become the
figureheads of a countermovement.… While Washington is propagating an American
free trade zone from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Lula & Co. want to
strengthen the South American economic area Mercosur, and thus encourage
regional cooperation. President Bush is simply not convincing when he preaches
free trade to the Latin American states, but mollycoddles U.S. farmers with
agricultural subsidies. Of course, Latin America is going to remain dependent
on the dollar nation to its North, and on the U.S. dominated international
financial institutions. Politically speaking, however, the U.S. seems to be
losing influence in a region which it still considers as its ‘backyard,’ much
to the chagrin of the Latin American world.”
BELGIUM: “The Summit of
Veronique Kiesel noted in left-of-center Le Soir (1/14):
“If U.S. President George W. Bush was hoping that the Summit of the Americas in
Monterrey would be a major moment of harmony and of agreement among the 34
countries that compose the American hemisphere--with the exception of Cuba--he
has probably been bitterly disappointed. Disagreements between the various
American countries have never been so visible. The time when obedient countries
were quietly listening to the U.S. President seems to be over. The reason are
the post-September 11 U.S. policies but also the election of clearly leftist
ROMANIA: "Divide Between North And
In the financially oriented Curentul, foreign policy
analyst S.H. commented (1/14):“Organized in the Mexican city of Monterrey, with
some profound political misunderstandings in the background, the presidents’
and MP’s from the two Americas meeting only confirmed the divide between north
and south. Brazil hoped to play the
leading role in Latin America. Venezuela
would have wanted to have social issues as a priority. The United States, more and more criticized
for its policies, hoped to make progress regarding a free trade zone in the
"Brazil And Venezuela Insisted On Discussing
Inequality And Social Problems"
An editorial In the independent Cotidianul commented
(1/13): “Thirty four presidents from the two Americas met yesterday in
Monterrey, Mexico, for a regional summit, focused mainly on commercial issues,
immigration and the fight against terrorism.
If the President of the United States was convinced that liberal
commercial relations are all that this region lacks...a group of countries, led
by Brazil and Venezuela, insisted that discussions regarding inequality and
social problems (also) be considered as priorities by the chiefs of state.”
"Moment Of Truth For U.S.-Latin Relations"
In the financially-oriented Curierul National foreign
policy analyst E.G. opined (1/13): “The
Summit of the Americas, which began yesterday in Monterrey, Mexico, can be
considered the moment of truth for U.S.-Latin American relations. The ideological contrast has already stirred
significant misunderstandings, which made the preparation of the Summit and of
a final declaration, more difficult. The
misunderstandings between the U.S. and their Latin American partners were
mirrored by the statements made on one side and another right before the
Summit, declarations that showed maximum tension.”
"Summit Of The Americas"
In the opposition Romania Libera foreign
policy analyst Cristian Campeanu commented (1/12): “The Fifth Summit of the
Americas, which began today in Monterrey, Mexico, with bilateral talks, and
will continue tomorrow with a meeting of 34 Presidents, will be difficult, with
little chances to succeed, because of some major differences among the
participants. The misunderstandings are
caused by different views on the goals, policies and ideologies between most of
the Latin America countries and the main actor of the western hemisphere, the
United States. Everyone has something on
which to reproach the U.S. and President Bush, especially from the political
point of view, and everyone has something to ask from the economic point of
Left-of-center El País held (1/14): "The other
America, Latin America, has showed itself less tame with Bush.... The result of Bush's attempt to punish
corrupt countries has turned into everyone's commitment to intensify the fight
against corruption...and to deny refuge to the civil servants involved in
it. It is more proof that this Latin
America is willing to endure the attack of the northern giant, whom it
nevertheless needs.... The two Americas
are farther apart than they have been in a long time. The fact that there was nothing at stake at
this colorless summit, where bilateral briefings were more important than the
plenary sessions, has served to prove it."