The XXVIII Ibero-American Summit that is being held this Saturday in the Dominican Republic has started this Friday night with the aim of seeking "concrete results that have a positive impact on the quality of life of Ibero-Americans."
Former Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand, in charge of the Ibero-American Secretariat, has called on the 22 countries that make up the community to take advantage of the regional context that, he has stressed, "as rarely does it mix opportunities and challenges."
One of those opportunities is, in his opinion, the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the second half of this year.
It is about, he stressed in the installation of the meeting in the Ozama Fortress of Santo Domingo,
an occasion "to generate an agenda for the future between Latin America and Europe to work together to solve problems such as climate change, which is an existential threat to humanity."
And the summit of Celac, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, convened for July 17 and 18 in Brussels, will specify a package of European investments in the region, as announced by King Felipe VI.
Climate challenges are precisely one of the axes of the event, whose motto is "Together for a fair and sustainable Ibero-America".
The meeting of presidents and heads of state plans to approve three documents, an Ibero-American Environmental Charter or Green Pact, a Charter of Digital Rights Principles and a Food Security Strategy.
A central proposal on international financial architecture, which ultimately pursued a market reform to facilitate access to credit, fell at the last minute.
The lack of consensus due to the opposition of some countries, for example Cuba, halted this debate, according to diplomatic sources.
His president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, was one of the 11 who shared the stage tonight with the host, the Dominican Luis Abinader, King Felipe VI, the Chilean Gabriel Boric,
The absences, the delays, the expectation and the speculations about the assistants have also marked the summit.
The Brazilian Inácio Lula da Silva and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, rulers of two Ibero-American giants, did not travel to the Dominican Republic for different reasons, the first because they had a visit to China scheduled and the second because of their misgivings about international forums.
The Colombian Gustavo Petro did not arrive at the inauguration ceremony of the summit after delaying his departure from Cartagena de Indias, while the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, who was traveling with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell , and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, were still flying and landed at the last minute.
The hypotheses about the participation of the Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, who in 2021 monopolized prominence in the days before the previous Ibero-American Summit in Andorra and finally left the organization planted, became entangled with the passing of the hours.
In the middle of the week, Hugo Chávez's successor had confirmed his attendance.
Later, the option for the chancellor, Yván Gil, to replace him, gained strength, who in fact arrived in Santo Domingo and joined the inauguration bringing “President Maduro's message for the unity of Our America and the Greater Caribbean.”
But the presenter of the event also mentioned the name of the Venezuelan president among the leaders who were about to arrive.
However, she omitted Gustavo Petro's, causing some confusion.
No one rules out that Maduro could arrive shortly before the start of the meetings this Saturday.
But no one rules out that, despite having confirmed his presence, he chooses not to travel to this summit, which seeks to lay the foundations for cooperation beyond political differences and ideological clashes.
A moment of the inauguration of the Ibero-American Summit.
Monica Gonzalez Islands
Abinader recalled in his speech that the Ibero-American community faces "common challenges that require collective responses" and invited the participants to dialogue "sincerely and amicably."
In the Ozama Fortress —the first fort built by Spain in America— the Dominican president was in charge of receiving the leaders who have attended the Summit.
Among them, the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, who just a week before had undergone surgery for a herniated disc.
Abinader has also greeted the Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, who was also walking with the help of a walker due to a lumbar cyst.
The applause among the attendees was generous with the presence of the Chilean President, Gabriel Boric, who followed the start of the meeting sitting next to the Bolivian President, Luis Arce.
Both presidents have not spoken to each other, despite the fact that they have expressed a certain willingness to talk about the differences between their countries, mainly the dispute over territory in which Bolivia demands an outlet to the Pacific Ocean.
Among those who have spoken intensively with the host president has been the president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, who has also been the only female head of a member state to have traveled to Santo Domingo.
Castro has appeared at the reception on the arm of her son Héctor Zelaya, who is also her private secretary.
The heads of state have dressed in white guayaberas for the welcome ceremony, with the exception of the presidents of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle, and Argentina, Alberto Fernández, who have opted for suits with ties.