Latin-Carribean summit starts today but still lacks some key players

Some 17 heads of state have confirmed attendance at the third summit of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean that begins this morning.

As of Tuesday night, some key figures were still uncertain attendees. They included Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, said Costa Rica’s foreign ministry.

There are 32 foreign delegations, but some are headed by an ambassador or a foreign minister, according to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

Raúl Castro, the president of Cuba, made a surprise morning arrival at Juan Santamaría airport. He was the first head of state but was not expected until the afternoon. The summit attendees are anxious to hear Castro’s take on the thawing of relations with the United States.

Manuel González, Costa Rica’s foreign minister, told visiting diplomats Tuesday that the summit is a place where rhetoric can be converted into practice.

The diplomats are expected to discuss topics ranging from poverty, financing development, corruption and goals for the years after this one.

When they are seated for the first time this morning, the heads of state and heads of delegations are to be presented with an agenda that has been formulated by technical staff members who have been working since Saturday.

The formal meeting is in Pedregal in Belén.

The contents of the working document have not been made public. However, relations with China is high on the list.

The organization of states is the creation of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and Castro. It is seen as a counterweight to the established Organization of American States and the United States and Canada.castro012815

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