For the first time, conservative U.S-allied nations like Colombia are throwing their weight behind the traditional demand of leftist governments that Cuba be in the next meeting of the Organization of American States.
"The isolation, the embargo, the indifference, looking the other way, have been ineffective," Santos said.
Two subjects were expected to dominate the Summit discussions yet both issues were left unresolved. One thing seemingly certain now is that the US is no longer the solo star in this theater and will now be sharing the top billing with Brazil and other rising economic performers in this hemisphere.
Another top topic of discussion, albeit between sessions, was the prostitution scandal which dealt a blow to the US's waning prestige and influence among American nations. Despite the attention drawn by that incident other US delegates to the Summit were still able to enjoy Colombia's night life, kick up their heels a bit, and even sample some Cuban culture - Boom-chickie-boom:
In an ironic twist, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went dancing after midnight on Sunday at a Cartagena bar called "Cafe Havana" where Cuban music is played.
Of other great concern to the American nations:
With the backing of several other Latin American leaders, Mr. Santos gave prominence on the summit agenda to a discussion of whether the longtime, United States-led “war on drugs” ought to be replaced with some potentially more effective strategy, perhaps even decriminalization.
The leaders agreed to direct the Organization of American States to name a group of experts to study the issue. President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, who favors legalization, said in an e-mail message after the summit that drug use and trafficking was the only topic the leaders discussed at their final closed-door meeting on Sunday. In the discussion, he said, Mr. Obama reiterated his opposition to decriminalization.
“It is a very positive outcome, in the sense that we have to explore what else we can do to find new avenues” to combat the drug trade, Mr. Perez said.
Mr. Obama said, “It is wholly appropriate for us to discuss this issue,” and he called the exchanges “good and useful.”
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edit on 16-4-2012 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)