Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

And suppose the King of Spain Shut Up?

The arrogant and puerile reaction of the Spanish monarch tarnished the XVII Latin American Summit which took place between the 8th and 10th of November in Santiago, Chile. Cuba’s proposal on the fight against terrorism was ignored by many agencies that focused more on the polemics rather than the main business under discussion.

The Clown of the Party

It was King Juan Carlos of Spain, the only head of the State present in the All Latin American Summits, since the first one in Guadalajara in 1991, that ended up being the clown of the party. Juan Carlos created a bad environment between those gathered with his insolent, sassy, forceful, and arrogant proposal for President Hugo Chavez to "silence himself", when the latter labelled Aznar with the term "fascist".

The differences between Juan Carlos and Hugo Chavez are that the latter was democratically elected, never participated in an attempted of coup d'etat against Spain and Hugo Chavez knows how to behave as a Head of State, while the King of Spain acts like a willful brat. So suppose the King of the Spain himself shut up? Imperialist times, like those of the monarchy, ended a long time ago in the majority of countries.

Cuba’s Proposal

Ignored by many news agencies was the Cuban proposal on the fight against international terrorism, just as the many Cuban initiatives in creating services in developing countries are ignored by these agencies of disinformation.

Cuba proposed that the governments introduce measures "to prevent and to eliminate the financing and the preparation of any terrorist action and to deny shelter to the instigators, financiers, authors, promoters or participants in terrorist activities". Appealing to the member-states of the Ibero-Latin American family to introduce legislation for a fast extradition of terrorism suspects, Cuba suggested the creation of a mechanism at the level of the UN to give international support to the victims of terrorism.

Cuba remembered the terrorist attack perpetrated by Luís Posada Carriles in 1976, in the crash of a Cuban airliner that caused the death of 73 civilians. Carriles, sheltered in United States, was never brought to justice for terrorism.

The Main Subject: Social Cohesion

Social cohesion was the subject of this Summit, which concluded with the signature of the Ibero-American Multilateral Covenant of Social Security and the final Declaration of Santiago, focusing on the battle against poverty, violence, discrimination and the unjust distribution of income.

The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, said in her inaugural speech that the social cohesion " expresses the will that makes a reality the dream of so many women and men for social justice, and for freer and fairer societies in all of the countries of Latin America". The Covenant of Social Security follows as the first step taken in the direction of creating this social cohesion. Under this agreement, an Iberian-American citizen who emigrates to another country in this community can count the time of work performed in another member-state for his/her retirement pension . However it will have to be ratified by the national Parliaments.

The Charter to Strengthen the rights of Iberian-American migrants was another outcome of this Summit, to guarantee equal rights in all the member-states.

Highlighted, also, was the proposal of President Chavez for an oil-producing alliance for this community and the continuing dispute between Uruguay and Argentina about the installation of a cellulose factory in Uruguay, on the border between the countries, highly contested by Buenos Aires.

The Summit of 2008 will be in San Salvador and the subject will be youth and their needs. Portugal will be the host of the Summit of 2009, for which reason it enters the Troika of the Ibero-American Summits.



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