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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins second trip to Latinamerica

Monday, June 7th 2010 - 06:28 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Ms Clinton will be participating in the OAS General Assembly Ms Clinton will be participating in the OAS General Assembly

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Sunday night in Lima, Peru, for her second trip to the region this year. Ms Clinton will be participating on Monday in the two-day Organization of American States General Assembly hosted by Peru.

Meeting with officials from the 33 OAS active members’ officials is not expected to be smooth. The US has strong differences with the regional power Brazil regarding Cuba, Honduras and Iran.

Other controversial issues include regional arms purchases, crime and Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Falklands/Malvinas under British rule.

An OAS statement on regional arms control and verification methods is expected at the meeting. A draft final statement discussed at OAS headquarters in Washington last week stresses “the importance of promoting arms control” in the region and Latin America's commitment to remaining a nuclear-weapons-free zone.

The arms control issue was included in the OAS agenda at Peru's behest after seeing lately what it considers an alarming growth of military spending in the region -- experts speak of 150% increase over the past five years.

Regarding the Argentine sovereignty claim over the British ruled Falklands/Malvinas the US position has been that the dispute “it is a matter for both countries (Argentina and UK) to address”.

Though it may not be on the agenda, there may be debate over US-backed efforts to readmit Honduras to the OAS following its suspension in June last year over the coup that toppled President Manuel Zelaya.

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said Honduras will come up in a free session on Monday but a Peruvian government source said some states prefer to avoid such debate for fear it could degenerate into an ideological row. For many countries in the region led by Brazil, Honduras cannot reincorporate to OAS unless Zelaya is allowed to return peacefully from exile, according to Insulza.

On Tuesday, Clinton will fly to Quito for talks with Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa and for a speech laying out the broad outlines of President Barack Obama's policies toward Latin America.

Secretary Clinton also will also travel to Colombia to meet with President Alvaro Uribe and both presidential candidates who have a run-off next June 20, Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus.

Clinton wraps up her tour late in the week in Barbados, where she will discuss issues of mutual interest, particularly crime and security, with leaders of Caribbean nations.
Earlier this year, Secretary Clinton visited Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Tomas Rosa Bueno

    Mrs. Clinton, the iron-brained lady, has embarked on yet another round of very diplomatic and very tactful remarks before she visits a country that's paying close attention to her words. Last year, before going to Brazil to peddle her sanctions package, she thought it would be a good idea to threaten the Brazilians to accept her advise or else. Now she goes off again calling names before she gets on the plane.

    Mrs. Clinton is so bent on sanctions against Iran that only now she's waking up to an information her intelligence services must have known for days, since it has been circulating in the internet for at least one week: Iran seems to be about to announce it will suspend its uranium enrichment to 20% as soon as the fuel-swap deal it agreed to with Turkey and Brazil is officially accepted by the Vienna Group. She's trying now to counter that announcement, which will be one more nail in the sanctions' coffin, by dismissing it beforehand as a “stunt”.

    If Iran were to dump all its nuclear fuel-processing equipment into the Persian Gulf and swear never to look at a centrifuge again, Mrs. Clinton would call this “a stunt” and ask for even “tougher” sanctions.

    What Mrs. Clinton should worry about now is being received by any high-level officials in Brazil, after her insulting remarks about the nuclear-fuel swap deal negotiated by Brazil and Turkey with Iran -- another “stunt”, according to her. Brazil must be now thinking of a way to strike a balance between preserving its friendly relationship with the U.S. and treating Mrs. Clinton as she deserves, and she may count herself lucky if she gets to see a deputy foreign minister in Brasília. She may then explain, because the Brazilians will certainly ask her, why the U.S. is so intent on approving sanctions against a country that has shown its willingness to negotiate as long as it is treated with the respect it deserves, instead of being *ordered* to concede everything before negotiations even start. But if she can

    Jun 07th, 2010 - 06:49 am 0
  • Duglas

    Clinton is a Nazi.
    Down with the Empire !

    Jun 07th, 2010 - 01:12 pm 0
  • Quía

    Duglas, you're not serious, right? Invoking Godwin argument?! For shame!

    Jun 08th, 2010 - 06:51 pm 0
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