Havana, Wednesday 26 de September de 2018 06:32 am

Summit of the Americas kicks off with the absence of Venezuela

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Summit of the Americas kicks off with the absence of VenezuelaLIMA, Peru, Apr 13 (ACN) The VIII Summit of the Americas will open this afternoon in this capital city, despite the fact that the Peruvian organizers disinvited Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, a decision criticized by some countries in the region.

We Peruvians welcome you, American brothers and sisters to the VIII Summit," wrote President Martín Vizcarra in the account of the Presidency of Peru on Twitter.

The message with the photograph of the Peruvian president added that the meeting will be an opportunity for countries to agree on concrete measures on the main topic of debate, democratic governance versus corruption in the hemisphere, a highly controversial issue for the hosts, due to the recent political corruption scandals in this South American nation.

Experts have pointed out how difficult it will be to reach consensus on the Summit's issues in a country that has had a new president for just two weeks, following the resignation of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, accused of corruption related to the Odebrecht case.

The last four Peruvian presidents have been involved in corruption-related prosecutions, and some of them have even been imprisoned for it.

This is the first time that Venezuela will be absent from this type of scenario since the first Summit was organized in 1994.

The United States will be represented by its vice president, Mike Pence, as President Donald Trump cancelled his trip to Peru to assess the situation in Syria.

Since Monday, Lima has hosted a series of meetings of civil society, indigenous organizations, trade unions, youth, parliamentarians and businessmen prior to the VIII Summit of the Americas, which sought to agree on proposals to bring to the meeting of the leaders.

However, the hemispheric dialogue between social actors and civil society and high-level representatives of governments could not take place because of the decision of the organizers of the Organization of American States to include anti-Cuban mercenaries in the debate, which led to a strong protest from Cuba to prevent such arbitrariness.

The opening of the VIII Summit of the Americas will take place at the Gran Teatro Nacional at six o'clock this Friday afternoon.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the plenary session of the meeting will be held in the modern Lima Convention Center.

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