President Obama with Argentina President Cristina
de Kirchner: The two discussed outstanding trade issues and
the British sovereignty over the Malvinas, which are known
the Falkland Islands to the English-speaking world, Apr. 14.
Americas Summit the Right Place to Address Drug War (Hoy, Ecuador)
“The war strategy directed by Washington, which involves product eradication,
penalizing drug traffickers and criminalizing consumption, appears to have
failed. … The recent Mexican experience of involving the military hasn’t led to
any form of solution, and it is more than likely that President Calderon will end
his term without having achieved any reasonable benefit.”
A man holds a sign that says, 'Obama - Go with the Hookers,' after members of President Obama's security detail had to be sent home for misconduct relating to prostitution, at the Summit of the Americas in Categena, Colombia, April 14.
More than just a board of directors for short- and medium-term
decision making, the Summit of the Americas is a super-high-level meeting
during which leaders and experts familiarize themselves with and weigh regional
and global tendencies, take note of them and prepare to promote or block them.
For example, the first Americas
Summit, which took place in Miami in 1994, was a remarkable exercise in
strategic thought and foresight. The Manichean global Cold
War had just drawn to a close and a new door appeared to be opening for
countries around the world, including of course, the Americas. Democracy, free markets
and globalization were the watchwords of the day, the indispensable keys - as was
said with some arrogance - for meeting the challenges of the time. Everyone
seemed to agree that democracy could only be understood as traditional
democracy. We thought we had found the ultimate route to
progress and freedom. The figure of Bill Clinton seemed ideal for staying in tune
with the new rhythm of the times.
The Sixth Summit, to take place this weekend in Cartagena, will
be less optimistic and more preoccupied; it will entail less consensus
and more dissent; fewer hopes and more realism. Certainly, times change and so
do tastes. SofíaVergara, whose program Modern FamilyPresident
Obama never misses, will attend the summit as a special guest, as confirmed by [Colombian
broadcaster] María Isabel Rueda during her
meeting with U.S. Ambassador McKinley.
But the most controversial issue and the one most written
about by global analysts is the failure of the war on drugs. This topic entails
complex issues like the collapse of institutions of justice, the loss of
security and public trust, and corruption.
The problem is that the war strategy directed by Washington
for the past four decades, which involves product eradication, penalizing drug
traffickers and criminalizing consumption, appears to have failed. This has
been acknowledged by former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso [Brazil],
Cesar Gaviria [Colombia] and Ernesto Zedillo [Mexico],
who are members of the Latin
American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.
is the rising level of public mistrust and loss of credibility in terms of the
way drug trafficking is being fought. The recent Mexican experience of involving
the military hasn’t led to any form of solution, and it is more than likely
that President Calderon will end his term without having achieved any reasonable
benefit against the image of a bleeding country.
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