Saturday, April 18th 2009 - 09:39 UTC

Summit “first step for a new regional order” says Cristina

Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Friday that the Trinidad and Tobago summit “should be the first step for a new regional order” and recalled the previous summit in Argentina had signalled “an inflection point for the continent”.

Cristina: Obama is evidence of the dramatic changes in the last 4 years

Delivering the first speech at the opening of the Fifth Summit of the Americas Mrs. Kirchner also spoke of the “anachronism that the blockade on the sister republic of Cuba means today” and demanded that Washington end the embargo, although recognizing the Obama administration efforts to eliminate the “absurd restrictions” imposed by former president George Bush.

She added that Cuba has expressed “total willingness to talk with the United States on all issues, which makes us believe that we are facing a second chance to build a new relation we can’t let go by”.

The Argentine president insisted with the 2005 Mar del Plata summit saying that then “different countries with different histories and ideas said no to FTAA (the free trade association of the Americas sponsored by Washington)” and with this attitude also “marked the beginning of a new way of thinking in our countries”.

“We stood firmly on our ideas and experiences and gave a reply to what had been for decades a traumatic relation: first with the Cold War and then the East-West conflict which for us meant dictatorships and paradoxes”, said Cristina Kirchner.

Among the paradoxes Ms Kirchner mentioned the expulsion of Cuba from OAS (Organization of American States) in 1962 with the argument it had adhered to Marxism-Leninism, which allegedly violated the principle of hemispheric unity consecrated in the TIAR (Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty).

“Which in 1982 did not prevent aggression on Argentina from a country not belonging to the hemisphere and no TIAR doctrine was enforced”, in reference to the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands war.

She added that now the “great challenge was integration and the non interference in our countries affairs” and ensuring “the region’s economies can count with the instruments that can help with sustainability”.

Mrs Kirchner also called for a quick refunding of multilateral organizations such as the Inter American Development Bank so “with different plans we can award continuity and sustainability to the expansion of our emerging economies”.

Finally Cristina said that in the last four years the hemisphere economies had expanded vigorously and in Argentina in particular “the most significant growth in the last 200 years was achieved”.

“This has meant social advances which today are threatened by the international financial collapse in which we had no responsibility at all. So it’s essential we build a new regional order which takes into account the advances and transformations of a world which will not be the same. This means not subordination but collaboration and cooperation”.

Cristina Kirchner underlined that the Washington Consensus was “a tragedy for our economies” but was quick to point out President Barack Obama “was not responsible for that system or the bipolar world”.

“In the last four years the world has changed dramatically”, said Mrs. Kirchner and President Obama is “clear evidence” of those changes.

“It was unthinkable that a union leader such as Lula da Silva, a member of indigenous peoples as Evo Morales in Bolivia in the nineties could have been elected presidents”.

“These last four years have seen the collapse of the 2005 world, with an only way of interpreting economics, ignoring states and with the only presence of markets to rule and fix it all”, concluded the Argentine president.

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