Last week’s Ibero-American summit in the Dominican Republic sparked a political row in Spain, when opposition leader Alberto Núñez Figo criticized the “loyalty to autocrats” offered by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez. His remarks also seemed to criticize the fact that he simply shared the platform with countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela –King Philip VI There was also – the PP later had to specify that Sanchez was in fact accused of omitting any criticism of those regimes in his interventions.
If you win this year’s general election, Feijóo will attend the next Ibero-American Summit with the king Heads of State and Government, scheduled for the end of 2024 in Ecuador. It is Spain’s priority interest to ensure the health of the organization itself, as all PSOE and PP governments have done.
Spain launched this initiative in 1991 and strengthened it in 2005 by establishing a permanent secretariat in 2003; The General Secretariat of Ibero-Americans (SEGIB) is located in Madrid. Spain is responsible for 60% of the quotas paid by member states; The remaining 40% is covered by the other 21 countries (the compulsory quota budget for 2022 was €7m, although the final activity of the organization is more ambitious, with all associate cooperation programs representing an expenditure of €49.5m).
The role of the mediator
It is not a matter of who pays the rules (the organization would have broken if there had been a Spanish desire to impose itself on the rest), but the one who strategically cares the most is that the system continues to pay much more. This is the case, for example, with US stakes in the United Nations, the Organization of American States, or the Islamic Development Bank: Washington may feel uncomfortable with multilateralism, but it is interested in the good progress of these entities, which are not in vain in the American capital.
Spain is interested in an institutional forum in which all Ibero-American countries will participate (the summit also includes Portugal and Brazil); Even those with authoritarian regimes, as in the UK’s relationship with the entire Commonwealth of Nations, where there has historically been some temporary expulsions, but in general some laxity has been applied politically. In his desire to be able to obtain a file The role of the mediatorAnd with a certain effect, Spain does not usually close its doors to maintain a direct, at least, respectful dialogue with all national governments.
“Why don’t you shut up?”
In any case, the path to be followed by Spanish diplomacy is narrow in this respect. Ignoring the serious violation of democratic principles and human rights that some governments are subjected to is detrimental to the entire Latin American region and to the Organization itself. If Chile’s leftist president criticized Daniel Ortega at the Santo Domingo vs. Nicaraguan summit, why wouldn’t Pedro Sanchez do the same? The regime of Ortega and his wife, Rosario Modelo, has exceeded so many limitations that they must accept at this point that they are openly criticized. We all remember the question, “Why don’t you shut up?” that it King Juan Carlos I He set out to meet Hugo Chavez at the 2007 summit and put the Venezuelan in his place, without significantly damaging relations between the two countries.
How to keep certain bridges open while at the same time enjoying ethical and effective leadership in the region is Spain’s biggest challenge. At any rate, though not at a heavy price, the continuation of appointments to the Ibero-American Summit is an important asset to Spain, since it constitutes the only international organization that specifically strengthens the peninsula’s ties with America.
Latin American countries already have other forums to meet in, so if they expect they will be harshly criticized, it is enough for them not to go to any of them. With the Ibero-American Summits already taking place, Bill Clinton made the move in 1994 Summit of the Americasfor a greater connection between the United States and the region; Then the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States appeared in 2011, promoted by Mexico and Brazil to avoid the presence of the United States, and where there is no Spain. Those forums had mixed health. The Iberoamerican Peaks have also had a moment of crisis and as of 2014 they are biennial. During these 32 years, 28 copies were made; Her own celebration covers an important part of Spain’s goals.