The presidents of seven Latin American nations said on Saturday they would seek urgent talks with the next U.S. administration on their debt burden, drugs and the need for economic development.
They said the stability of their democratic institutions was endangered by their foreign debt and the growing power of drug barons. The presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela said they would seek the talks with the new administration as a prelude to dialogue with the developed world as a whole.They would request new measures to ease their debt, promote their countries' economic growth, and crush the drug cartels based in Latin America but profiting from the demand in developed countries.
In a "Declaration of Uruguay" issued at the end of a three-day summit in the Atlantic coast resort of Punta del Este, the presidents said conflict of interests and differing points of view over the past few years had prevented full and fair cooperation between the two Americas.
Implicitly rejecting many of the policies of the Reagan administration, they spoke of an urgent need for renewed political capacity "to encourage a climate of cooperation and understanding" with the United States.
To create this, the presidents said, "we propose immediate dialogue on the political, economic and social problems we face." The developed world as a whole would be asked to help the region reverse a decline in the rate of economic growth suffered in the 1980s, the declaration said.
"Development is not just a matter of universal justice, but also a necessity for the (developed) North and for global stability. The critical socio-economic reality in the (Latin American) region endangers political efforts to consolidate democracy."
The declaration called for new mechanisms to reduce the region's $420 billion foreign debt and the interest due, pointing out that in the past five years Latin America had paid out a net $100 billion in debt-servicing charges.