Correspondent in Mexico City
The power of convocation among the Latin American extreme left of Andrés Manuel López Obrador it’s undeniable. The president of Mexico has served in these two days (Friday and Saturday) as the host in the VI Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) in Mexico City, where it has managed to bring together, after five years, 17 heads of State – plus the Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez and a dozen foreign ministers – who intend to provide the precise tools to combat the pandemic, start a fund for natural disasters and create an entity for a common space race.
But, under this premise lies the notorious intention of giving character to this regional mechanism to replace the Organization of American States (OAS) and thus be able to get rid of an entity in which Latin America and the Caribbean are under the supervision of the all-powerful United States and Canada, which have never been part of Celac.
In this meeting, absolute priority should be given to the three purposes for which Mexico -pro tempore president of the community for two consecutive years- has convened the 33 countries that comprise it: vaccine production and the fight against climate change. In addition, the different Latin American governments intend to plant the seed for the creation of an entity that gives it a greater international presence and a project that is sponsored as fundamental: the formalization of the Regional Space Agency to launch a satellite that monitors meteorological phenomena and improves the mobile communication and the food security plan in synergy with the UN.
In addition, the creation of a joint vaccine is on the table, between the four countries that are carrying it out, to fight against Covid-19 and reduce dependence on large laboratories and foreign donations.
The presence of Maduro and Castillo
At the end of 2011, some thirty heads of state had already seen each other at the inauguration of the first summit that took place in Caracas. with a Hugo Chávez acting as coordinator. The most curious thing is that the project managed to curdle a year earlier as an idea in Mexico so that the “seed of the new America” would be born, as he declared. Felipe Calderon, then Mexican president and affiliated with the National Action Party (PAN), considered the right wing of the Mesoamerican country.
Whoever was the president two six-year terms (from 2006 to 2012) commented on how he received presidents of “all political signs”, although he disapproves of the invitation of the current president, López Obrador, to his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel, two months after the protests of the population. Thus Calderón has stated that “in national events the protagonists were exclusively Mexican.”
At the first Celac summit, eleven years ago, Calderón affirmed to consolidate the community as “the bond of union in which all states are brothers.” However, other leaders were already showing their intentions. Thus, Hugo Chávez declared at the same meeting: «As the years go by, Celac will leave behind the old and worn-out OAS ». Already at that time, Venezuela affirmed that the OAS obeyed the interests of the United States and was obsolete due to the influence of the superpower in this organization.
Still without a consensus among the 33 members of the bloc, Mexico with the López Obrador government in power has a clear opinion in the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard: “It is time to say goodbye to the OAS in its interventionist, interventionist and hegemonist sense and for another organization to come that we build politically in agreement with the United States.”
The truth is that the arrival of Miguel Díaz-Canel in Mexico is creating controversy as evidenced by the continuous demonstrations, in favor and against, of the president at the doors of the Cuban embassy, located in the residential neighborhood of Polanco. The appearance of Nicolás Maduro by surprise on Friday night in Mexico City, accompanied by his partner Cilia Flores and his son Nicolás Maduro, will increase the focus on his meeting with López Obrador.
One of the nother absences is that of Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina, after the electoral setback of Kirchnerism in which 70% of Argentines did not vote for Peronism, which has caused the resignation of several ministers and has forced Fernández to replace his cabinet, starting with the Relations portfolio International and continuing for Education, Science, Justice, Agriculture and Security, among others. Fernández should have taken the witness of the presidency of Celac.
The Peruvian President, Pedro del Castillo, is also present on a 24-hour visit in what is considered his first official trip abroad. A president who persists in his silence before the press and with an almost secret official agenda in which only a laconic message has transpired: “Reaffirm Peru’s commitment to democracy and human rights before the international community.” Castillo is more than welcome to Mexico, as stated by López Obrador’s declarations upon his arrival in power: “There is much that unites us.” “We are very pleased with this victory,” added López Obrador. Conversely, Jair Bolsonaro He rejected the invitation because, in his words, this summit “gave prominence to undemocratic regimes.”
AMLO, aware of the loss of power, as reflected in the last midterm elections in which he did not achieve the desired qualified majority necessary for an alleged renewal of the Constitution, becomes strong in an international leadership to keep the left in power in a Latin America that has suffered severely from the health and economic crisis.