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CUBA: FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT MOVED CLOSER TO CUBAN POSITION ON TERRORISM & GLOBALIZATION.

Havana is confident that, at the XI Ibero-American Summit in Lima, Peru, Nov. 23-24, delegates from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal moved closer to Cuban views on terrorism and the globalized economy. Adopting wording almost identical to the Cuban proposal on terrorism they rejected at the previous summit, the delegates then focused on poverty and economic development.

Cuban President Fidel Castro did not attend the summit because of the crisis in Cuba caused by Hurricane Michelle (see NotiCen, 2001-11-29). Vice President Carlos Lage represented Cuba.

The tenth summit, which took place last year in Panama, split apart over the terrorism issue. A heated exchange occurred after Castro accused Salvadoran President Francisco Flores of harboring known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who was living in El Salvador and traveling on a Salvadoran passport. In Castro's view, states that did not arrest known terrorists like Posada Carriles contributed to the history of terrorist attacks on Cuba carried out by Cuban exiles living in the US.

As if to drive home the point, Castro announced that Posada Carriles was at that moment in Panama planning to assassinate him, and that he had support from the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation (CANF).

Castro was especially incensed that the anti-terrorism resolution passed at the Panama meeting was proposed by El Salvador (see NotiCen, 2000-11-30). That resolution ignored terrorist attacks on Cuba but singled out for condemnation the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said that, while Cuba did not support the ETA, "In an Ibero-American summit, you cannot accept a text on terrorism in Europe. The resolution has to be about terrorism in Ibero-America."

The resolution on terrorism Cuba offered last year was voted down in favor of the version proposed by El Salvador. In Cuba's version, the delegates were asked to reject terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations no matter where it originates and no matter whom it is aimed at, including the financing of terrorist activities and the use of third-party states for the commission of such acts."

It also called on the states to support the creation of "an international instrument against terrorism" through the UN.

Summit adopts Cuban-style anti-terror declaration

This year in Lima, the delegates unanimously agreed to a formula that did not single out any individual state, and was essentially the Cuban version they rejected last year. In the Lima resolution, the delegates "reaffirm a commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever it may occur and no matter who commits it; to not give aid or refuge to the perpetrators, promoters, or participants in terrorist activities." The declaration goes on to pledge support to UN Security Council resolutions concerning measures against terrorism.

Elsewhere in the declaration, the delegates called on the US to rescind the Helms-Burton Act.

Summit looks at poverty

Besides the terrorism issue, the delegates demanded a swift response from the international community to the "difficult world economic situation" arising from the Sept. 11 attacks in the US. But, in keeping with the summit's theme of regional economic development, the delegates focused more on the economic situation in poor countries.

The document dealing with poverty calls for "subregional and regional development schemes to consolidate our demands that the process of globalization be fully inclusive and equitable."

After the summit, Foreign Minister Perez Roque told the Spanish news service EFE that the meeting had been "productive" and that the delegates had moved closer to Castro's ideas of regional unity. He said it "confirmed a consensus around many ideas that Fidel Castro has been defending for a long time in these forums."

He told Prensa Latina there had been a "qualitative change in the analysis of the present international situation, compared with previous meetings." He observed that the delegates had become more conscious that the global economic system espoused by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US had not produced the development that Latin American heads of state expected when they adopted neoliberal and global models in the early 1990s.

In an address to the delegates, Lage noted that Latin America's foreign debt is now US$289 billion greater than it was in 1990. "What we paid in those 10 years is two-and-a- half times what we owed in 1990," he said.

He reminded the delegates that the creditor nations had their Paris Club. "The creditors come together for negotiations and establish the rules of the game and then consult with us individually," he said. "We discuss isolated from each other." Lage suggested a "Lima Club" to promote unity for debtors.

The next Ibero-American summit is scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2002. [Sources: Notimex, 11/15/01, 11/23/01; Agence France-Presse, 11/23/01; Spanish News Service EFE, 11/15/01, 11/23/01, 11/24/01; Granma (Cuba), 11/17/00, 11/23/01, 11/24/01; Associated Press, 11/24/01; World Data Service, (Cuba), Juventud Rebelde (Cuba), 11/26/01]
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Publication:NotiCen: Central American & Caribbean Affairs
Date:Dec 13, 2001
Words:830
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