小编摘要：哥伦比亚总统 Juan Manuel Santos 将主持第六次峰会，会议日程将包括发展与经济，以及地区安全问题等。
Port of Spain Trinidad in 2009, President Obama attended his first Summit of the Americas, pledging to seek equal partnerships with other nations in the hemisphere.
He also had his first encounter with Hugo Chavez, the fiery Venezuelan leader and critic of U.S policies.
Three years later, Columbia President Juan Manuel Santos will host the sixth Summit. The agenda includes development and economic issues and regional security.
President Obama claims substantial progress in this region. In 2011 he travelled to Brazil, Chili and El Salvador to press the U.S trade and investment agenda, praise democratic and social progress and urge greater cooperation in the war on transnational criminal cartels.
Eric Farmsworth of the Council of the Americas offers this assessment:
“The hemisphere is maturing in its own self-confidence, it’s strengthening in terms of its economies and politically there are some challenges to democracy in certain countries, but overall the democracy is secure and countries are trying to find ways to develop those issues further.”
On the agenda in Cartagena: poverty reduction and inequality, economic integration, technology and cooperations (which) cope with natural disasters and citizen security are reference to drug and criminal violence.
Some Latin American leaders want a reexamination of what they called a failed war on drugs. They urged decriminalization of cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
The U.S disagrees. President Obama remains focused on military and security aid and intelligence cooperation.
“We’re going to be coordinating our efforts more closely than ever, especially when it comes to supporting Central America’s new strategy on citizen security which will be discussed at the Summit of the America in Colombia next week.”
Absent from the summit will be Cuba. It’s not a member of the organization of America States which represents democracies.
Washington opposes Cuba’s participation on political and human rights grounds. Columbia’s President says the issue will be discussed.
Alexander Main of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington:
“There will be a debate around Cuba’s non-inclusion in the forum. I think nearly every country in the region, except for the U.S, wants Cuba to be able to participate in these forums.
Eric Farmsworth says nations are not allowing the issue to block expanded cooperation.
“They are not hung up on the Cuba issue. They are diversifying their relationships. Their main issue is economic development and political, continuing the political legitimacy that’s brought through, through democratic governance.”
It remains to be seen what a drama Venezuela’s President Chavez with his antagonistic attitude toward the U.S may cause in Cartagena.
Stephen Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
“He’s certainly a gifted thespian and he will make the most of every opportunity to make his influence felt.”
Mr. Chavez has deepened Venezuela’s relationship with Iran. But analysts say his policies are increasingly viewed with skepticism in the hemisphere.