(posted April 14, 2:00 p.m.)-President Daniel Ortega, who likes to speak in grandiose terms about the importance of Latin American unity and integration, decided to skip this weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Colombia.
Instead, the Sandinista government has apparently cobbled together a last-minute act to celebrate Cuban solidarity, which Ortega will preside over this afternoon in Managua.
Ortega’s decision to back out on the hemispheric summit came shortly after Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced he would not be attending the summit due to health considerations. Cuba was not invited to the summit and Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is also playing hooky.
That means that ALBA—a leftist hemispheric bloc that the member countries try to present as a strong alternative voice in the region— will have no meaningful representation at the hemispheric summit.
“President Ortega, according to what the Nicaraguan delegation told us, won’t be here in Cartagena, without explanation for his absence,” Honduran President Porfirio Lobo told the press today in Colombia, in announcing Ortega’s absence for him.