The Summit of the Americas has closed without agreement on a final declaration – but that will not overshadow the positive feeling radiating from the first Americas summit of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The US leader charmed his counterparts over two days in Port of Spain, Trinidad: “I’m very gratefull that they have taken time to be with me and I’m looking forward to hearing more about how the United States can be an effective partner with all the countries,” he said. His South American counterparts heralded a new era of dialogue. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa was one of those who had opposed a proposed final declaration. “The final document doesnt talk about Cuba,” he observed. “Nor does it propose a comprehensive solution for the immigration problem, so it’s a light document typical of protocol.” But the promise of deeper cooperation is there for the future, with Obama promising a new beginning on Cuba. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was so upbeat that he suggested the next summit be held in Havana.