International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

January 15, 2004

January 15, 2004





**  Closing to lackluster reviews, the SSOA was another “lost opportunity."


**  Latin, Euro critics judged it a "nonsensical summit” that confirms the North-South "divide."


** 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 achievement."


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 place."


EDITOR:  Irene Marr

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 date.




CANADA: "Corruption -- The Salsa Uncle Sam Won't Swallow"


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."


ARGENTINA:  "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 his words.'"


"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 less."


"No KO Is Expected In The Kirchner-Bush Meeting"


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 crisis."


"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 Brazilian steps."


BRAZIL:  "No Advances"


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."


"Nonsensical Summit"


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:  Why?"


"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."


"Principal Issue"


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."


MEXICO:  "Summit-itis"


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 example).”


"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.”


 "The Tenth Power"


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 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 Haiti.”


"Templo Mayor"


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 which."


"Agreements And Disagreements In Monterrey"


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 Yard"


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."


GUATEMALA:  "Special 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.”


NICARAGUA:  "Bolaños 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 country". 


"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' 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 Today"


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."


PERU:  "The Monterrey Summit"


Center-left La Republica observed (1/12):  "Leaders of the 34 countries of the region will meet 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 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] 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 In Monterrey"


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 War period."


"Bush's Ways"


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 failed."


"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 reality."




BRITAIN:  "Damned Yankees"


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."


"Good Neighbors"


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 still required."


FRANCE:  "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 Fox.”


"Monterrey:  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.”


GERMANY:  "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 opposition."


"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."


 "The American Tango"


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 Iraq"


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 movement forward."


"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 region."


"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."


"Familiarization Meeting"


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 North-South Disagreements”


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 Presidents.”


ROMANIA: "Divide Between North And South"


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 region.”


"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 view.”


SPAIN:  "American Misunderstanding"


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." 



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