Is Washington paying any attention at all to the demands and interests of its ‘Latin American partners’? According to this editorial from Mexico’s La Jornada, few people south of the U.S. border believe that the Summit of the Americas took into account the wishes of Latin Americans, starting with the issues of the inclusion of Cuba at all hemisphere-wide summits, a change in direction for the drug war, and support for Argentina’s claim over the Falkland Islands.
Continuing with our coverage of the Summit of the Americas and its aftermath, the La Jornada editorial says in part:
For President Obama, there was to be no discussion of the drug trafficking strategy Washington imposed on the nations of the hemisphere nearly forty years ago. This is despite the strategy’s irrefutably high cost and distressing failure, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands dead, the strengthening of criminal organizations, increased drug addiction, institutional disintegration and the weakening of state structures. At this point, even right-wing leaders like summit host Juan Manuel Santos and Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina agree on the need to revise a policy based on police and military persecution of criminal groups, and which ignores the complexity of the social, economic and historical aspects of drug related crime, particularly drug trafficking.
The U.S. president has left no room for doubt as to his determination to focus the summit on exclusively economic affairs, in particular in the pursuit of increased exports from his country to Latin America, sidelining issues like the fight against poverty, technological cooperation and the design of measures to be implemented to deal with disaster. For the U.S., issues like drug trafficking, Cuba’s inclusion in these hemispheric summits and Argentina’s historic claim over the Malvinas Islands were off the agenda.
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