The focus was supposed to be on innovation and the region’s economic resilience in the global downturn but the political events in Honduras have cast a shadow over this year’s Ibero American summit being held in Estoril, Portugal. Among the 22 leaders attending is Patricia Rodas, the foreign minister under ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.
Deep differences have emerged over the legitimacy of the Honduran presidential poll. Panama, Costa Rica and Peru say they will recognise the election result. However, the majority of those present, including Brazil and Argentina, have said they will not. Spain has also said it will not recognise the ballot, even if it has admitted that it will not be able to ignore it. Madrid’s been hoping for a Honduran government of national unity backed by a broad consensus across Latin America and Europe ahead of taking over the EU presidency in January. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, said: ‘‘We’ve spoken about the mechanisms of European coordination and the Swedish Presidency is in contact with different capitals. There will be a unique EU position. This position I hope, will be what I have mentioned, not to recognise, but not to ignore the election.’‘ From the summit, euronews journalist Maria Pineiro said: ‘‘The Ibero American countries in Estoril are also trying to find consensus. If they manage it, it will be the first time that the Ibero American community have shown a united image after 18 years of meetings.’‘