Chávez and Uribe Squabble At Rio Group Summit; New Latin American and Caribbean Organization Created

February 24, 2010 8:50 am 1 comment
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez engaged in a war or words on Monday at the Rio Group summit in Mexico.

The quarrel happened in a private meeting where Uribe complained about the Venezuelan trade embargo imposed on Colombia. Chávez allegedly retorted by accusing Uribe of plotting an assassination attempt on Chavez by paramilitaries.

Chávez then allegedly threatened to leave the conference and Uribe shouted that Chávez was “a coward when it comes to talking face to face.”

Chávez allegedly then told Uribe to “go to hell.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Cuban leader Raúl Castro tried to calm the dispute between the two other leaders.

Relations between Venezuela and Colombia been tense in the past few years, due mainly to the joint U.S.-Colombia military deal that Chávez fears is aimed at overthrowing his government.

. . .

In other news from the Rio Group Summit, 32 nations from Latin America and the Caribbean created a new regional bloc that excludes the United States and Canada.

While few details about the nascent group are prepared, the newly named Community of Latin American and Caribbean States plans to meet in Venezuela in 2011 and Chile the following year.

Mexican president Felipe Calderón said the new organization hopes to create cooperation between Latin American states and defend human rights and democracy in the region. There have been rumors that the organization will replace the Organization American States (OAS), which is strongly influenced by the United States, but as of now Latin American leaders are split on this issue.

“It’s very important that we don’t try to replace the OAS. The OAS is a permanent organization that has its own functions,” said Chilean President-elect Sebastian Pinera, according to the Washington Post.

Just published at the Dispatch: Latin America Experts Assess President Obama’s First Year.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • Colombian pop star Shakira met with U.S. President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House and then with World Bank Director Robert Zoellick, with whom she announced a $300 million early childhood development program.

Caribbean

  • A Cuban political prisoner died on the 85th day of a hunger strike, according to opposition sources.
  • A bipartisan group of thirty congress members submitted legislation to end travel restrictions and agricultural trade restrictions with Cuba on Tuesday. (Spanish)
  • Adoption of Haitian children orphaned by the Jan. 12 earthquake remains controversial; a group of six Haitian orphans were recently turned over to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti after being detained at the airport on their way out of the country.

Central America

  • A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Guatemala around 4:52 a.m. on Tuesday. The quake caused no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Andes

  • Venezuela created a $1 billion fund to save the country’s electric system by financing power-generating projects, according to President Hugo Chávez.
  • Peruvian doctors accidently amputated the wrong foot of an 86-year old man and were forced to amputate the other foot to stop the spread of infection.

Southern Cone

  • A man in Argentina who was stolen at birth from his mother, a political prisoner during Argentina’s Dirty War, has been reunited with his father. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a human rights group and activist organization, solved the case.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will attend José Mujica’s inauguration on March 1, the Uruguayan press reports. (Spanish)
  • With the official selection this weekend of Dilma Rouseff as the Workers’ Party presidential candidate, Brazilians debate the size of the state.
  • Jhonny Longhi tells the story of his journey from Brazilian poverty, to the Olympic giant slalom.

Images: Álavro Uribe from Center of American Progress @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Argentina North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Argentina Passes a Controversial Bill to Attract Oil Investment

    Top Story — Looking to take advantage of its vast and mostly untapped shale oil and gas deposits, Argentina’s Congress has passed a controversial bill that will make it easier for foreign capital to invest in the country’s energy sector. The bill, which had already passed through Argentina’s Senate, drastically lowers the minimum investment needed for companies to avoid import controls and foreign exchange regulations — a serious boon to potential investors. It now moves on to President Cristina Fernández […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Top Story – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto  met for the first time with family members of the 43 missing students from Guerrero state on Wednesday in Mexico City. Before the meeting, family members said they were prepared to voice their “indignation” over the country’s fruitless search for their missing loved ones and to demand the president do more. Since the 43 students went missing after being attacked by police on Sept. 26, the search for them has been marked […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Top Story — The search continues for Mexico’s 43 missing students in Guerrero state as authorities have not been able to confirm that new mass graves contain the students’ remains. Sunday marked one month since the students from the rural Ayotzinapa Normal School went missing after being arrested in the town of Iguala after commandeering several busses to use them in a protest. According to Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, local police turned the students over to members of […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Colombia Dispatches United States Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    NEW YORK CITY — Diana Gómez and Shaira Rivera, two young women from Colombia, visited several U.S. universities this month to raise awareness about Colombia’s current peace negotiations to end decades of armed conflict. Both their fathers were killed in the war. Their fathers, congressional aide Jaime Gómez and union worker Guillermo Rivera, were killed in Colombia in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Although their cases have not been resolved in court, the young Gómez and Rivera accuse Colombian state forces […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Top Story — Cuba’s government has sanctioned the construction of the first Catholic church to be built in the country in 55 years, the latest development in a continued trend of growing acceptance of religion on the island. The church, to be funded by members of the U.S.-based exile community in Tampa, Florida, will be constructed in Sandino, a town located in the province of Piñar del Rio on the island’s western coast. The church’s construction indicates a growing connection […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Top Story — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won her re-election bid in the closest race in the country’s history, taking just over 51 percent of the vote to beat her opponent Aécio Neves. The tight victory marks the end of a campaign cycle that stunned observers for the atypically vicious attacks from both sides. Rousseff, of the left-populist Workers’ Party, opened her victory speech by saluting fellow party member and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose two-term tenure […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →