Reuters: Cuba and drugs debate to spice Americas Summit

April 12, 2012 10:12 am0 commentsViews:

(Reuters) – Leaders from across North and South America will mix perennial controversies over Cubaand the Falklands with new approaches to the war on drugs and trade tensions at a summit in Colombia this weekend.

The 33 nations represented at the Organization of American States’ (OAS) sixth Summit of the Americas in the historic seaside city of Cartagena are, however, unlikely to lead to big changes on the major issues facing the hemisphere.

Although not quite the star act he was at the last OAS meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama remains a focus for many Latin American leaders who hope he might pay them more heed if he wins a second term in the November election.

Many Latin American countries would like the United States to ease its tough policy of ostracizing Cuba and begin a debate on legalizing some drugs. But Obama, facing a tight re-election contest, is expected to maintain the U.S. hard line. Continue reading