Summit of the Americas Could Initiate Debate about Anti-Drug Policies
By Dialogo April 13, 2012
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated on April 11 that with regard to anti-drug policy, the most that the 33 presidents attending the 6th Summit of the Americas on April 14 will accept is to start a discussion.
“The fight against drugs is not the topic of the summit and should not be the topic of the summit. It’s going to be discussed, yes, because that’s what the vast majority of the countries that are coming want,” Santos stated.
The “maximum that can come out of here is the start of a discussion” that the participating countries are “on the brink of beginning,” said the president, who came to welcome reporters accredited to the summit at the Cartagena Naval Museum, set up as a press center.
Santos and some Central American presidents have announced their intention to propose a debate about the focus of the fight against drugs during the presidential summit.
The U.S. government has shown itself open to discussion, although it has indicated that it will not modify its policy of a frontal assault on illegal drugs.
With regard to Cuba’s controversial absence from the summit, Santos joined other presidents from the Americas in calling for the Cartagena summit to be the last of this kind without the Havana administration.
“I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, but I hope that this will be the last summit without Cuba,” he affirmed.
Santos again regreted the decision of his Ecuadorean counterpart, Rafael Correa, not to travel to Cartagena due to Havana’s absence, and he expressed his desire to “find common denominators” for cooperation with the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA).
ALBA is made up of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.