Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Chile, among the participants of the Celac summit, which promises tension

Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Chile, among the participants of the Celac summit, which promises tension

the brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvathe Colombian Gustav Petro and the Chilean Gabriel Boric are some of the Presidents who have pledged their attendance at the CELAC Summit next Tuesday in Buenos Airesand, although there is no official confirmation yet, controversial visits like that of the Venezuelan Nicholas Maduro and the Cuban Miguel Diaz-Canel.

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So far, according to official Argentine sources, at the VII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which integrates the 33 countries of the region, leaders of 15 countries will be present and the rest will be attended by their foreign ministers or other high-ranking government officials.

Notable are the absences of the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who normally delegates international duties to his chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard; Peruvian Dina Boluarte amid the deep crisis and protests plaguing her country; Guatemalan Alejandro Giammattei and Panamanian Laurentino Cortizo.

Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega will also be absent after in 2021 he accused Argentina of becoming “an instrument of North American imperialism” after Alberto Fernández’s government criticized the arrests of opposition politicians in Nicaragua.

The one who finally confirmed his presence was the Ecuadorian Guillermo Lasso, who until a few hours ago was in doubt due to the friction with the Fernández government over its decision to grant diplomatic asylum to a former left minister Rafael Correa (2007-2017) .

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In addition to the host and Lula da Silva, who is making his first official foreign visit of his third term the night before, Petro and Boric, the Honduran Xiomara Castro, the Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Pou, the Bolivian Luis Arce, the Dominican Luis Abinader and the Paraguayan Mario Abdo Benítez.

Also the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and that of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves.

Likewise, the United States, while not a member of Celac, will send a delegation to America led by the President’s chief adviser, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd.

The North American President had been invited by Fernández to reconcile positions between Latin America and the United States after years of friction with the Donald Trump administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was also invited, but Beijing is only supposed to participate remotely with a video.

Likewise, the European Union, the bloc with which Celac hopes to strengthen its ties in 2023, will be a special guest with the support of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

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Although there is no official confirmation for Venezuela, Maduro’s arrival is taken for granted given the numerous mentions made by the Chavista leader to the regional forum in recent months.

“The Celac summit in Buenos Aires is coming soon, it will be a good opportunity to hear the voice of our peoples,” Maduro said in a speech last Monday, noting that Lula reinstated Brazil in the group afterwards the decision of the previous president, the right-wing extremist Jair Bolsonaro, to leave him.

Regarding Cuba, its President Miguel Díaz-Canel is expected, since the Argentine executive has confirmed a bilateral meeting with Fernández next Wednesday.

Undoubtedly, the presence of the Venezuelan and Cuban leaders – especially the former – is the most contentious as they will meet with presidents who criticize their leadership. But Fernández has been affirming for months the need for a united Latin America “without any kind of exclusion”.

This week, the Argentine Forum for Democracy in the Region (FADER) – made up of opposition political leaders from Argentina and Venezuela, intellectuals and journalists – denounced Maduro, Ortega and Díaz-Canel in court to allow them to be investigated for “crimes”. from It Hurts Mankind”.

And even the opposition Patricia Bullrich called for Maduro to be arrested “immediately” for this reason if he arrived.

In addition, groups of Venezuelans in Buenos Aires called anti-Maduro protests in front of the Sheraton Hotel, where the summit will be held under tight security.