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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 January, 2004, 19:10 GMT
Latin America summit dominates press

In Mexico itself, the issues of migration and the country's subordination to Washington are to the fore, while a major Brazilian daily sees a victory for its president Lula over his American counterpart.

A leading Argentine daily considers the summit a personal success for President Nestor Kirchner, while in Venezuela, there is debate over President Hugo Chavez's tricky relations with the White House.

The Venezuelan leader managed to isolate himself from most Latin American nations
El Universal

One of Cuban's top newspapers believes the summit is part of a giant conspiracy to reinforce Washington's message that it is the unquestioned hemispheric heavyweight.

No lackey

"Fox denies he is George W Bush's lackey," declares Mexico's centre-right El Universal. It said the Mexican president was "providing assurances he is working in a serious and professional manner to promote the great themes of the bilateral agenda, principally immigration".

An editorial in the same paper highlights "agreement and discord in Monterrey", arguing that part of the new US plan to legitimise some previously illegal immigration is "to limit it and in no way increase it", with the ultimate aim of returning migrants to their country of origin.

The editorial also attacks Venezuelan President Chavez, accusing him of "seeking to construct obstacles to the success of the summit".

"By treating those who questioned his politics as hostile adversaries, all the Venezuelan leader managed to do was isolate himself from most Latin American nations."

Mexico's leftist La Jornada views the summit as an opportunity for the US to flex its muscles, in a piece headlined "Summit characterised by Washington's impositions".

Vicente Fox has inherited the aspirations of the Texans
La Jornada

One commentator in the paper takes to task President Fox for "demonstrating a vision of integration with the north".

"Vicente Fox has inherited the aspirations of the Texans. First become independent from Mexico, next become part of the United States."

Argentine stability

For Argentina's top circulation Clarin, the summit was an opportunity for President Kirchner to raise his international profile "and consolidate his power".

"Kirchner handled well his second meeting in seven months with the White House boss, enabling him to smooth over the domestic situation and provide his government with more stability," it said.

I was also in prison, but for the wrong reasons
George W Bush, quoted by Clarin

It also reports that the two presidents spoke about their time in prison, the Argentine leader for opposing the military dictatorship and his American counterpart for drink driving.

"I was also in prison," Mr Bush is quoted as saying, "but for the wrong reasons."

In Venezuela, El Nacional refers to the sometimes vexed relations between the American and Venezuelan leaders, but points out that on this occasion good manners prevailed.

"The head of state classed as 'intelligent' statements by the American leader as he spoke of the integrity of [Venezuela's political] process without seeking to point the finger at Chavez over the possibility there would be no referendum [over Chavez's future]."

Writing in Caracas' El Universal, Maria Teresa Romero describes the summit as a "Cold War in Monterrey".

She says the end result was "a formal accord, superficial, anodyne", and worries about the "growing ideological polarisation in the inter-American system".

Bush forced into a corner in Monterrey
Jornal do Brasil

"We have a new regional cold war with no middle way. We have to take sides. What side will Venezuela take?"

Brazilian triumph?

Brazil's Jornal do Brasil is in no doubt that Brasilia triumphed over Washington in Monterrey.

"Bush forced into a corner in Monterrey", says a headline in the daily. "The final document of the emergency summit of the Americas represents a victory by the current leadership of Brazil over the United States."

It says Washington was forced to give in over the deadline for ending the negotiations over the free trade zone and the participation of "corrupt governments" in future summits.

The influential Folha de Sao Paulo quotes Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as saying "there will be no political democracy without economic and social democracy".

And O Estado de Sao Paulo has a front page picture of several leaders, including Presidents Bush and Lula, posing for the official picture with smiling faces, captioning it "a moment of relaxation after summit differences".

Cuba's conspiracy theory

Cuba's Communist Party daily Granma says the reasons for calling the summit out of the blue "are worrying foreign ministries in the hemisphere: there is fear of a military invasion of Colombia and reactions to the situation in Bolivia".

Bush's intimate circle is intensifying his aspects of diplomatic incompetence

"That is not the way a diplomacy that is sure of its ground and strategy moves. On the contrary, this kind of operation exposes a marked disquiet on the part of the US president's men.

"Whether it is due to the accelerated move toward the creation of a South American political unity, or the fear of an electoral defeat for Bush in November, the fact is that Bush's intimate circle is intensifying his aspects of diplomatic incompetence by transferring the language and methods of an anti-Cuban Miami lobby to US hemispheric strategy."

Granma carries pictures of crowds marching with a banner stating "No to the FTAA" and a masked youth carrying a placard "Bush Go Home Terrorist".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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