SANTIAGO – Spain is preparing a document to push for closer relations between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or Celac, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on Thursday.
“We want to launch an initiative called the Alliance for Productivity so that our economies can accommodate themselves to the new economic scenario and also to a different ideological framework,” he said in an interview with EFE and El Pais.
The proposal, which Spain will send to the summit of Celac-EU foreign ministers that will take place this year in Santo Domingo, includes “the facilitation of decisionmaking, so that this functions, and contents (of the summit), with the issue of competitiveness,” he said.
In reviewing the regional situation, Garcia-Margallo said that “with certain specific exceptions,” in Latin America “democratic processes are respected and the results of elections are accepted.”
In addition, “in economic terms, the region is much stronger than in 1991,” the date of the first Ibero-American Summit.
Garcia-Margallo acknowledged that Latin America “is going through economic difficulties” as a consequence of the fall in commodities and oil prices, as well as weakness in Chinese demand.
“But they are temporary weaknesses,” he said.
“The region will once again recover its economic direction. Therefore, our companies are very insistent that they are here to stay,” the minister said.
Regarding Cuba, Garcia-Margallo recalled that in November 2012 Spain favored the possibility of achieving an agreement to normalize relations with the EU, “something that finally was done” and to that must now be added the thawing of Havana’s relations with the United States.
“The process in Cuba is irreversible,” he emphasized, adding that the agreement with Chile and Argentina to develop a triangular cooperation model whose initial projects will be launched in Cuba and also in Colombia once the latter country signs the peace accord with the FARC rebels.
He also emphasized that when that peace agreement is finalized “Latin America will be a continent at peace, probably the only continent in the world at peace.”