What happened at the Summit of the Americas

The Eight Summit of the Americas brought heads of states and government representatives together for two days in Lima, Perú came to an end last Saturday.

The Eight Summit of the Americas brought heads of states and government representatives together for two days in Lima, Perú came to an end last Saturday. The Summit aimed to bring together leaders in the Western Hemisphere and encourage conversation, tackled the topic of “Democratic Governance against Corruption”. 

Among the presidents and heads of state attending the Summit were Canada Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the President of Brazil, Michel Temer, the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez.

While President Donald Trump was not in attendance, the U.S. was represented by its vice-president Mike Pence, who called for prayer. “Remember to pray for people that are struggling under the weight of tyranny, remembering, as the Good Book says, that “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” said Pence.  

During the inauguration President of Peru Martín Vizcarra said. “I call on you to work together in order to consolidate a democratic and peaceful society in the hemisphere, that supports human dignity and fosters the development of our peoples.” It’s an urgent need to act jointly in the face of a common challenge and meet our peoples’ expectations,” Vizcarra added.

The former President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in March in the middle following a corruption scandal, linking him with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro was also present at the Summit.

“It´s an honor to participate in the inauguration of the Summit of the Americas. The region is facing problems that go far beyond the strategic: freeing our hemispheric community from corruption is an existential task,“ Almagro explained.

During the Summit The OAS and Mexico signed an agreement approving a a mission to observe the July 1 federal and local elections with the former President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández, as Chief of Mission. Secretary-General, Luis Almagro designated former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernández as Chief of Mission. 

In regards to Venezuela, a declaration was signed by the United States and 16 other countries demanding fair elections in the country. The declaration demanded “presidential elections with the guarantees required for a free, fair, transparent and democratic process, without political prisoners, including the participation of all Venezuelan political actors. The elections that do not comply with these conditions will lack legitimacy and credibility. ”

In his statement Pence called on the Maduro regime to “open up their country to life-saving aid the Venezuelan people so desperately need.” The VP thanked nations that have taken action against “the dictator Maduro and his brutal regime through economic and diplomatic means”.  

Countries like, Canada, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil and Panama have all issued sanctions. Costa Rica has refused to let Venezuela’s Minister of Defense in the country. Canada has sanctioned more than 40 Venezuelan officials and Argentina and Brazil led the effort to suspend Venezuela from Mercusor.

So far, Panama has designated more than 50 Venezuelan officials as high risks for money laundering and took the Panamanian ambassador out of Caracas.

Finally Peru withdrew Venezuela’s invitation to this summit.  

President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra stated: “As president of this Eight Summit, I express my gratitude to the countries that participated with the firm objective of adopting specific commitments and measures to face corruption.”

Panama at the Summit of the Americas 2018 

President Juan Carlos Varela accompanied by the Vice President and Chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado; the Minister of Economy and Finance, Dulcidio De La Guardia; the Ambassador of Panama in Peru, Nicole Wolcovinsky and the secretary of the National Security Council, Rolando López. At the summit, Varela explained that Panama has made progress in the area of corruption. 

Speaking about the Obertech scandal Varela said ”the time has come to encourage a public-private pact in which governments and the private sector commit themselves to take actions that ensure that this does not happen again in our region," the Head of State highlighted.

"Panama chose its path and there is no turning back. Society demands and will be fulfilled that as of the date, companies and officials who commit acts of corruption cannot continue contracting with the government or being part of public life”, said the President.

President Varela also spoke to Venezuela. "I call on all countries so that through dialogue and concrete actions we can seek a peaceful and democratic solution to this crisis that the Venezuelan people are living and that we are prepared to provide humanitarian aid of a mass exodus before the imposition of elections without the participation of the opposition sectors”, he said.

The Panamanian President said that this Summit should serve to rethink in a more united continent that allows promoting social peace and cooperation in the permanent search to improve the quality of life of the citizens and solve the problems that affect peoples.