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Summit pundits

October 14, 2005|Ted B. Kissell

IT'S SUMMIT SEASON again in Latin America, and the Spanish-speaking world's editorial writers are on the case.

First up is the Ibero-American summit, which takes place today and Saturday in Salamanca, Spain. Mexico City's El Universal on Thursday declared that the most pressing issues are "unemployment, the growing gap in income distribution and the social exclusion of sectors such as the indigenous." The paper also lamented the loss of manufacturing jobs to Asia, stating that summit countries "fell prey to the avarice of stronger competitors."

In Madrid, El Pais noted on Thursday that the summit comes soon after the Oct. 12 national holiday known as Fiesta de Hispanidad -- literally, Holiday of Hispanicness. The traditional observance includes a parade of Latin American militaries through Madrid, but this year Cuba did not participate. That's fine with the hometown daily. "It would have been embarrassing to see the soldiers of a dictatorship next to those of so many democracies."

Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, La Nacion focused Thursday on security preparations for next month's Summit of the Americas. With President Bush and 33 other heads of state scheduled to attend, President Nestor Kirchner announced that the Argentine air force would shoot down any wayward aircraft deemed a threat to the summit. Kirchner's declaration settled a disagreement between his minister of defense, who supported the shoot-down option, and his chancellor, who didn't. Still, La Nacion decried the government's mixed messages: "A serious and inopportune question has been opened about the security measures to be deployed."

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