Controversy over Cuba has overshadowed debate at a summit of leaders from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. At the end of the meeting in the Spanish city of Salamanca, participants called on the US to end its trade embargo against Cuba. They also called for the extradition from the US of a former CIA operative who is wanted by Venezuela over the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people.
The US embassy in Madrid said it would be unfortunate if the resolutions were interpreted as a sign of support for the regime of Fidel Castro. The Cuban leader’s failure to attend the summit remains unclear. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is a Castro ally, praised the resolutions. However, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said he hoped the final declarations would not be seen as a sign of what he calls “tolerance of human rights violations in Cuba”.