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CELAC

What are the underlying conditions for Chinese investments in the region, and, more specifically, how do these loans differ from those offered by Washington in the early 1990s?

Either because they don’t want to alienate part of their constituency at home or because belonging to the CELAC Club gives them economic or political benefits, Latin American and Caribbean leaders have been blackmailed to avoid criticizing systems that enable authoritarian leaders to concentrate power, crush dissent and persecute journalists.

The thirty-three countries that make up the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Community (CELAC), wrapped up their second summit by declaring the region a “zone of peace,” on Wednesday.

Likely top stories this week: the International Court of Justice will rule on the Chile-Peru Maritime border; the CELAC Summit begins on Tuesday in Havana, Cuba; Argentina begins easing restrictions on purchasing US dollars; protesters of the World Cup clash with police in Sao Paulo; Belize and Guatemala sign an agreement at the OAS.

The most controversial outcome of last month’s second CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) summit in Santiago, following close on the heels of the first EU-CELAC meeting, was the decision in Santiago to appoint Cuban President Raúl Castro to the chairmanship of the 33-member regional body.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Cuba takes over the chairmanship of CELAC on Monday as the summit wraps up in Santiago; a bipartisan group of U.S. senators release a plan for comprehensive immigration reform a day before Obama lays out his proposals; violence in Colombia increases following the end to the FARC’s unilateral ceasefire; Argentina and Iran seek approval for an international truth commission to investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires; mining protesters blockade a highway in Peru.

Today and tomorrow, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will host the foreign ministers of Chile and Venezuela, Alfredo Moreno Charme and Nicolas Maduro, and the deputy minister of Cuba in New Delhi, Rogelio Sierra.

Top stories this week are likely to include: India-CELAC dialogue; Jamaica marks its independence; impact of the Antamina spill; Repsol to meet with Venezuela on YPF; and responses to Petrobras’ poor quarterly release.

At the conclusion of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009, President Obama called for hemispheric partnership in place of “stale debates and old ideologies.”

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