The President shared a dinner with the leaders of Chile and Ecuador, with whom he has just been involved in a diplomatic conflict.
Consensus has its costs. Unless there is a last-minute change, the final document that will be endorsed by the 19 heads of State and Government participating in the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit in the Dominican Republic -and which has been discussed for months- will not mention Russia in any of its 11 pages. nor to Ukraine, much less to the invasion – the term used by Alberto Fernández at the UN, last September – ordered by Vladimir Putin.
Argentine diplomatic sources point out that “the bad boys” -Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua- -that’s how they described them- definitively blocked that possibility. The pressure from Spain and Portugal was not enough.
For the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who landed in Santo Domingo minutes after the President and a day after King Felipe VI, it will represent a setback. The Spanish head of government – who will meet this Saturday morning with Fernández and with the representative of the European Union Joseph Borrell – is one of the most categorical European leaders when it comes to condemning Russia’s responsibility in the first war in the old continent for 70 years. Spain will exercise the pro tempore presidency of the bloc in the second semester. This is the first face-to-face Summit since the pandemic.
The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, together with the Dominican First Lady, Alberto Fernández and his partner Fabiola Yáñez. Photo: EFE
The 49-point declaration that the leaders will sign this Saturday barely refers to the “wars” across the planet that the region and the countries of the Iberian Peninsula intend to avoid using the United Nations Charter as a roadmap.
The text also alludes to the “war conflict” in Ukraine by pointing out the need to guarantee a route for the sustainable supply of food. In the same section, the document is issued against the commercial blockades and that countries in the region also suffer, a clear allusion to the situation in Venezuela and Cuba, which were represented by the leaders of both countries, Nicolás Maduro and Miguel Díaz-Canel.
In the Argentine Foreign Ministry they recognize that the absences of the Brazilian Lula, who traveled to China, and the Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador “devalued” the Summit. The Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega also hit the foul, like the controversial Salvadoran executive Nayib Bukele. The Dominican capital is shielded by security forces, especially in the colonial zone, where the leaders stay and the Summit takes place. Twenty minutes away, on the beaches bordering Avenida España, kilometers of the Caribbean Sea open up, but no one bathes because of the pollution.
The final document, somewhat washed out according to the appreciation of a diplomat, is a kind of declaration of good intentions to ensure the sustainable development of the region after the pandemic and to meet the 2030 objectives. One of the axes of the document and of all The meeting will revolve around actions to mitigate climate change.
Argentina, in any case, scored a victory: it managed to get the leaders of the Summit to issue a special communication on Malvinas in which they urged the parties to sit down again at the negotiating table. On the other hand, they recognize the effort of the Argentine government to establish a peaceful solution. “It was our greatest achievement”, the national delegation was honest when emphasizing the detail that Spain and Portugal -two European countries with a colonial past- and in the Spanish case with enclaves in Ceuta and Melilla.
On behalf of Foreign Minister Cafiero, who traveled with Fernández, the undersecretary for Latin America Gustavo Martínez Pandiani, a man of Sergio Massa, was present to negotiate the documents. The Economy Minister will join the entourage in the United States if the bilateral meeting between Fernández and Joseph Biden becomes official. The Argentine delegation is confident that this official confirmation would come from the White House this Saturday.
Fernández and the rest of the 19 heads of state and government took a family photo at the Santo Domingo Fortress, the oldest fort in America. The Argentine president was flanked by the Cuban president and the King of Spain.
There and a while later, the President met the Chilean Gabriel Boric and the Ecuadorian Guillermo Lasso, with whom he starred in public diplomatic short circuits this week, as a result of the letter that Fernández sent to Quito after the escape of the former minister from Rafael Correa, María de los Ángeles Duarte, from the Argentine embassy where she was a refugee in Caracas. The President had questioned the Ecuadorian and Chilean Justice, in addition to the Argentine and Brazilian.
The meeting was relaxed in the Casa de Bastidas, in the Colonial Zone of the Dominican capital, offered by Dominican President Luís Abinader. “The personal relationship between Alberto and Lasso is very good,” they minimized close to the Argentine president, who returned to his hotel around midnight. In the reduced Argentine entourage there were signs of fatigue and some regrets for the lack of organization.
Boric, meanwhile, has already extended an invitation to commemorate the 205th anniversary of the embrace between San Martín and O’Higgins in the town of Maipú, where the historic battle took place.
Special Envoy to Santo Domingo