Ibero-American Summit, Change for Survival

At the summit which ended on Tuesday, notable absences of some of the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were once again used to measure the success of the event.

The absences particularly of Bolivian President Evo Morales, who had previously confirmed his attendance, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, indicated the growing detachment of left-leaning countries at this forum, founded in 1991 with the support of then-Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Mexico.

According to the new Ibero-American Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan, the forum seeks to find its place in the Ibero-American area, descending from political proclamations to concrete and practical issues directly affecting citizens.

Cooperation and exchanges in the field of education and culture are among the objectives to bring Latin American summits to the interests of the people of these countries with a combined population of 650 million people and which together account for 10 percent of global GDP.

Both Spain and Mexico, great supporters of the summits, tried to downplay the absence of the presidents.

Beyond the absences, the summit received a scathing attack by President Evo Morales.

_Who founded the Ibero-American Summit of the Heads of State? Latin Americans and some Europeans. The Europeans organized it, especially the monarchs of Spain, Europe, for their own interests,_ Morales said this week.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who attended the summit, said in an interview with Efe on Tuesday that the Ibero-American Summit was on trial and the results achieved in this new stage will determine whether it can last another 23 years.

Correa, who is one of the main promoters of the Union of South American Nations, believes that there are too many summits and different realities between the two shores of the Atlantic that are at play against the Ibero-American summit.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo defended the rejuvenation of the forum which ensures that this change is real and stressed that what was important were not the absences, but the continuity of these forums and the profound reform that has been agreed upon.

Latin American Herald Tribune |

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