Cuba formally assumed Monday the presidency of the Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States during the group’s summit in Chile calling for regional integration and independence from the United States.
Argentina claimed at the CELAC summit in Chile that the UK has converted the Falkland Islands into one of the “most militarized territories in the world” with the sole purpose of exploiting the natural resources of the Islands and control access to Antarctica.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro, read an eleven page letter he said was written by ailing President Hugo Chavez in which the Venezuelan leader calls for Latinamerican unit, praises Cuba’s chairmanship of CELAC group and takes time to support Argentina’s claims over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands.
The Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States, CELAC, is “no threat” but rather a useful component for the Organization of American States, OAS, said Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza during his attendance to the Celac summit meetings.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez downplayed immediate discussions for the trade and cooperation agreement between EU and Mercosur arguing that the South American block should elaborate and discuss new proposals to be presented to the Europe Union on the last quarter of this year.
The first summit of the Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States, CELAC, the brain child of president Hugo Chavez, paid tribute to the Venezuelan leader who is recovering from cancer surgery in Havana, Cuba, the country that on Monday will be receiving the group’s chair from Chile.
The European Union is the “most desired strategic partner” of Latinamerica, although with different intensity, according to a report from the International Prospective Institute, IPI, released on Monday in Madrid and ahead of the coming EU/CELAC summit in Santiago de Chile.
The European Union and Mercosur will resume talks on a free trade agreement during a coming summit in Brazil and later at a meeting in Santiago de Chile, both in January, according to the EU chief delegate in Brazil, Ana Paula Zacarias.