The World This Week: Latins hold their own summit

IGNORED by leaders at last week's summit of the world's richest nations, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations launch their own summit this week, hoping to carve out a place in the international scheme of things for their own development plans.

Brazil's President Itamar Franco and King Juan Carlos of Spain will open the two-day Ibero-American summit on Thursday in the Brazilian beach paradise of Salvador de Bahia. The 21 leaders will try to hammer out a regional development plan that will win the backing of industrialised countries.

A spokesman, touching upon the neglect of Latin nations shown at last week's Tokyo meeting of the world's industrial powers, said their aim was to 'reinsert themselves on to the international agenda in the developed world . . . We want to point out we are still moving ahead in our political and economic development'.

The presence of Cuba's President, Fidel Castro, should liven things up - Brazil's small Cuban exile community is already protesting.

At last year's summit, Mr Castro was bombarded with insults by Cuban opposition protesters, who are getting more vocal as Cuba's fortunes decline. But Mr Castro's aims - more aid from rich nations for Latin America and more democracy in world lending institutions - will be supported by many.

There are headaches for Spain's newly re-elected Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez, who is due to announce his new government by tomorrow, ahead of the ceremonial opening of parliament on Wednesday. Mr Gonzalez's hopes of a broad coalition to tackle the country's economic crisis were dashed when both the Catalan and the Basque parties refused to join him. Mr Gonzalez now faces the prospect of steering a minority government through an obstacle course of piecemeal policy deals.

Haiti's political parties will be seeking common ground when they meet at the UN in New York on Wednesday to discuss how to restore democracy, and to approve the transition process agreed recently by the ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the military chief, Raul Cedras, who toppled him.

Russia's constitutional assembly convenes today for a full session which President Boris Yeltsin hopes will be the last. He wants the amended draft constitution to be approved, but the parliamentary chairman, Ruslan Khasbulatov, resists the handover of powers to the president.

The appeals court in Paris rules tomorrow on whether it will reconsider last year's jail sentences for four former public health officials convicted in an HIV-tainted blood scandal. They were charged with knowingly distributing HIV-positive blood to haemophiliacs, resulting in more than 1,200 contaminations and 300 deaths. On Wednesday, Bastille Day, campaigners against Aids start handing out condoms on the Riviera, and plan to cover 250 beach bars, discos and campsites.

The International Olympic Committee reports on the venue of the 2000 Games some time this week and is rumoured to put Sydney ahead of its main rival, Manchester. This could cause nail-biting as the committee's president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, visits Manchester today and meets John Major - who has pressed Manchester's case - on Wednesday.

A Rolls-Royce showroom opens in Moscow on Friday, the latest in the company's efforts to offset falling trade at home with a boost in foreign sales. But if it's choice Muscovites want, they'll have to wait. The operation kicks off with just three vehicles.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower