On a sunny morning in Buenos Airesthis Tuesday took place the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Its beginning had been marked by the controversy about the surprising absence of the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. After 10 local hours, and with the presence of 13 presidents and 33 delegations, the event that brought together the leaders of the region began.
In his address, the president of the host country made a speech related to the situation of democracy in the region and the recent coup attempt that occurred in Brazil. In this sense, Alberto Fernández referred to the need to protect “institutionality and democracy, in the face of a recalcitrant and fascist right.”
Along the same lines, the Argentine president continued: “We believe that democracy is at risk after the pandemic. The ultra-right sectors are standing up and threatening our peoples.
The meeting of leaders concluded with the news of the appointment of a new president pro tempore of CELAC, replacing Alberto Fernández. This is Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a small Caribbean island that is economically dependent on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. He will hold this position until next year.
A summit marked by controversy
The CELAC summit was not without controversy. In addition to the demonstration on Sunday against the possible visit of Maduro to Buenos Aires, throughout the day there was also room for other protests. On Tuesday morning, Buenos Aires woke up with 200 posters placed by the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights in different parts of the city and near the Sheraton hotel -where the meeting was held- to demand the release of political prisoners. in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
But in addition, the strong crisis in Peru has also been present in the framework of the summit. In the afternoon in Buenos Aires, around 5:30 p.m., different left-wing organizations, as well as citizens of Peruvian origin residing in Argentina, gathered around the hotel where the meeting of presidents of the region took place in repudiation of the government of Dina Boluarte. .
Internal tensions at the top
Also inside the Sheraton hotel, where the meeting of presidents of the region was held, there were moments of tension between the representatives of the countries that make up CELAC. One of them took place when Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou took the floor to criticize the body that met in Buenos Aires: «There cannot be a club of ideological friends here. In the variety will be the strength of this organization. We do wrong to put an ideological tint to CELAC. Beware of ideological temptation in international forums».
Another of the speeches that generated the most impact at the summit was that of the Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, who referred to the serious institutional crisis that Peru is going through. In this sense, he expressed: “We cannot be indifferent when today in our sister nation of Peru, people who go out to march and demand what they consider fair end up being shot by those who should defend them.” In addition, he assured: “The balance that the path of repression and violence has left is unacceptable.” The Chilean president also referred to Venezuela, and asked that elections be held in 2024 “free, fair and transparent”.
The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, who canceled his trip to Buenos Aires at the last moment, participated in the conference through a video in which he expressed: “The time has come for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to begin to be built from inside with a very clear vision of what the future of our countries should be and the need to lay solid foundations in the construction of the union of our countries. Regarding his absence from the appointment, he assured that he decided not to attend because he considered that there was “an ambush” prepared against him.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism