Earlier in the week, the Ibero-American summit in Spain adopted a resolution criticizing the U.S. embargo, or “blockade,” on Cuba. Prime Minister Zapatero did his best to explain it away as no big deal, but Cuba has painted it as support for the regime. And World Markets Research Center reports that Hugo Chavez didn’t do so badly either, especially now that Jacques Chirac has embraced him with an effort to identify “areas of transnational collaboration.”
According to the Spanish website, ABC.es, the Honduran President Ricardo Maduro came out of the talks questioning the democratic calling of the leftist governments in South America, but his voice was fairly singular. Andres Oppenheimer argues in the Miami Herald that there wasn’t anyone to act as a counterbalance to the criticism Bush faces, and that in investing his hopes in the regionally unknown Colombian president, Bush will have very little capital in South America. But it’s not simply that Bush has picked the wrong intermediaries (Vicente Fox included) — when was the last time you saw Bush dealing with anything in South America? That’s the sound of a can getting kicked down the road.