Summit of the Americas "Results"
The OAS Summit of the Americas took place this past weekend in Colombia. This is where all the countries of the OAS get together and, in theory, agree on something. Not anything that really happens of course, but politics. This meeting was quite different from past ones and the next one (scheduled to take place in Panama in 2015) may not happen unless something changes.
First, what was done: A US-Colombia free trade agreement seems to have been agreed upon. That, unfortunately, seems to be about it.
In US media it seems that about all that got covered was the story about the US Secret Service, some US soldiers and Colombian prostitutes. While the press tells us how irresponsible, ... they were, this is probably better press for the US than what really happened at the conference. Here goes:
- Latin American leaders were united in saying the War on Drugs does not work and something needs to be changed. (The see themselves as victims of the US addiction.)
- All wanted Cuba to attend. Ecuador actually boycotted the summit over this issue and it seems unlikely that the 2015 summit can happen unless this issue is resolved. What makes this particularly huge is that even Colombia supported this.
- All supported Argentine control of the Falkland Islands. Argentina walked out of the conference when this position could not be agreed upon (due to the US and Canadian lack of support).
Note that the Canadian government supported the US positions. Something that seems pretty out of line with Canadian policies with regard to, for example, Cuba.
In The Real News coverage of the conference, the success of CELAC is mentioned. CELAC is more or like the OAS except without US and Canadian membership.