Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner has stormed out of the Summit of the Americas in protest against a perceived lack of regional support for her country’s claims in the dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands.
The summit in Colombia had already been marred by a lack of consensus among attendees, with Latin America countries opposing the decades-old US isolation of communist Cuba.
Several countries put pressure on Barack Obama to end the ban, as the US president continued to be plagued by a US secret service scandal involving prostitutes.
Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman, reporting from Cartagena, said the summit was at risk of “falling apart” after Kirchner’s exit.
“I suppose the collapse shouldn’t be too surprising. There was complete disagreement about signing a final statement but the nail in the coffin came when Cristina Kirchner stormed out of the summit followed by Bolivia’s Evo Morales.
“[Kirchner] was furious, we are told, because of the lack of full, complete support for Argentina’s claim of control of the Falkand Islands,” Newman said.
“We understand she was very, very angry that [leaders] didn’t even mention the dispute over the islands with the UK.”
“She was overheard saying, ‘This is pointless. Why did I even come here?’”
Until and unless the inhabitants of the islands change their minds about sticking with the UK, no-one’s going to back Argentina’s bid for the resource-rich region and expose themselves to charges of riding roughshod over the islanders’ democratic decision.