Connect to share and comment

UNASUR leaders worried about US military presence

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) summit in Quito this weekend was meant to inaugurate Ecuador's leader to the UNASUR presidency, but the real item on the agenda became concern over an expanded U.S. military presence in Colombia. Obama has denied that the U.S. plans to install more military bases, but that has failed to reassure the leaders gathered in Quito. (Colombia's president was absent.) Argentine president Cristina Fernandez joined in the chorus of denunciations of increased U.S. presence, repeatedly characterizing the military intentions as "belligerence."

But Fernandez should have been delighted by the summit's statement on one of Argentina's pet issues: the Falkland Islands. Argentina claims the archipelago off its southeastern coast as its own, although it has been under British control since the early 19th century. The UNASUR leaders expressed their support of Argentina's rights to the islands.

The heads-of-state agreed to meet again at the end of the month in Buenos Aires. I'll be here.