On the eve of the summit at the White House did not hide that they expect to use a meeting with the heads of the countries of Latin America to strengthen the position of Barack Obama's election. "Hispanic voters in the United States traditionally closely follow the Summit of the Americas — said" b "political scientist Richard Frolic. — And the White House had every reason to hope for success. In 2009, at a summit in Trinidad and Tobago, the first black U.S. president welcomed as a new rock star. "
But this time it was different. Barack Obama's visit to Colombia began with a scandal. Eleven employees of the U.S. Secret Service, responsible for the security of the president, were sent home after they came to light contact with prostitutes. Later, the same charges were filed and five soldiers from the Presidential Guard. Behavior support of Barack Obama has become almost the main topic of discussion on the first day of the summit.
Opening the meeting, President Santos called on to discuss the "Partnership for Prosperity". But economic issues once relegated to the background as soon as the heads of 28 states have demanded from the U.S. to lift the trade embargo and ease sanctions against Cuba.
"We are not asking for that Havana did me a favor. We want to back her legal rights, — the statement says Daniel Ortega to the summit. — It is time for President Obama and his advisers should listen to the voice of Latin America ". These requirements are for the first time and supported the delegation of Colombia, which is considered one of the key U.S. allies in the region. "The policy of isolation, trade embargo, Cuba attempts to ignore — all proved to be ineffective," — concluded the president of Santos. Havana has lost membership in the Organization of American States after the 1959 revolution, and the rigid position of the U.S. and Canada has led to the fact that Cuban leaders are constantly denied the right to participate in regional summits. Another Washington's refusal to include Havana regional partnership program has caused uproar in Latin America. In protest against the lack of the Cuban delegation to Cartagena refused to come Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the leader of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega. Representatives of the seven countries of the Bolivarian Alliance, including Venezuela and Bolivia, have promised to boycott the next meeting, if Cuba will not make it a full-fledged member.
Despite the fact that during his election campaign in 2008, Barack Obama promised to review relations with Havana, sanctions still remain. In the past two years, Washington has softened a ban on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens, but that relief applies only to Cuban-Americans. During the summit, members of the U.S. delegation explained: further steps are possible only after the Cuban authorities will conduct democratic reforms and ensure respect for human rights.
Attempt ended in failure, and Argentine President Cristina Kirchner to discuss the issue with U.S. President accessories Falkland Islands controlled by Britain. Barack Obama's refusal to recognize the right of Argentina to the area has led to a loud demarche. The President Kirchner left the summit a day before its official closing time.