It’s bound to be an exciting weekend for Latin America, especially Colombia, where political leaders from across the hemisphere will gather together to talk politics.
This weekend, 33 heads of states from countries across the Western Hemisphere will convene in Cartagena, Colombia, for the 6th Summit of the Americas. Slated for discussion is the hot-button issue of illegal narcotics trade, as well as the Falklands/Malvinas debate between Argentina and England.
Other topics will surely rest on how to deepen economic ties between Latin American and the USA. The theme of the Summit is, after all, Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.
President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was quoted as saying, “This is the decade of the Americas.” As China has become increasing more present in economic negotiations with Latin American markets, the USA will want to discuss with heads of states how to promote more inter-American trade.
Over the past hundred years, and even more so in the past few decades, Latin America has opened itself to more foreign trading partners, loosening its economic ties with the USA that were so strong during the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. As a result, the economic and cultural landscape of many Latin American countries has changed somewhat dramatically.
In Lima, Peru, it’s clear that Chinese culture strongly influences the Peruvian culture: nearly every street corner is home to a chifa Chinese restaurant. In Brazil, the Chinese have purchased many commodities such as soybeans, and a flood of Chinese tourists have come into Brazil and Argentina in recent years.