Visiting heads of state might find themselves beating dead horses

The Community of Latin America and Caribbean States will be beating a few dead horses when heads of state meet, according to some advanced reports from meetings of the technical staff.

Among these are sovereignty for Puerto Rico and a resumption of negotiations over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Islas Malvinas.

The two-day session that begins with heads of state Wednesday also will be considering the state of U.S. and Cuban relations.

Alejandro Solano, a Costa Rican vice minister, said that the technical staff had reached agreement on the majority of the 17 issues being discussed. He did not list them all but did cite Puerto Rico, the British islands off Argentina and U.S. relations with Cuba.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, and the wishes of voters there have been ambiguous. The election in 2012 presented voters with a two-part question that many did not answer. Residents have the possibility of independence, statehood or continue commonwealth status.

The United Kingdom fought a 10-week war to retake the Falklands from an Argentine invasion in 1982. The islands have been in British hands since 1841. Residents have voted overwhelmingly to remain a United Kingdom territory. Still Argentina officials continue to push for some form of negotiations involving the islands.

The continuation of the U.S embargo on Cuba is another topic for discussion. The U.S. designation of Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism also is on the agenda.

There was no mention if the human rights situation in Cuba would be brought up.

The foreign ministry said Monday that it has enlisted some 223 government vehicles to ferry the estimated 3,000 persons who will be attending the summit in Belén.

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