Bienvenidos de Mexico

by Adam Popescu

Playa del Carmen, Mexico—As the Northern Hemisphere continues to freeze, last week leaders from thirty-two Latin American and Caribbean nations gathered at a resort on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, agreeing to set up a new regional body that excludes the United States and Canada, backs Argentina against the UK over the disputed oil rich Malvinas or Falkland Islands, and condemns the US embargo on Cuba.

Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and now Brazil all support uranium sales to Iran. The Obama Administration has downplayed the significance of this summit, but pundits have labeled the coalition as the new rival to our Northern equivalent, the Organization of American States. The Economist called it a “Mexican riposte to the Brazilian-inspired South American Union.”

The UK Telegraph reported that during the summit, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe got into a shouting match, with an insulted Chavez threatening to walk out.

Gathering all of these testy figureheads together is no small task for a photographer. I wonder how many takes he had to get his shot.

Uh, Mr. Correa, would you mind turning off the Lady Gaga and putting away your Ipod, please?

Mr. ChavezMr. Uribe! Please! No fighting!

—Adam Popescu