ATLANTA, Dec. 4 (UPI) --Ten former leaders of Latin American countries said their top priority is to lobby the United States for a reset in Western Hemisphere relations. Former Guatamalan President Vinicio Cerezo (above) and nine other former Heads of State announce the formation of the Latin American Presidential Mission to advance democracy, social welfare, and improved North South relations.
“The first thing is we will propose is to the [newly re-elected] government of the United States to initiate a new era of relationships between the U.S. and Latin America,” Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo, president of Guatemala from 1986-91, said last week at the series of meetings in Atlanta.
“We are growing up. We have democracy in most of the countries and the United States has to see us like partners, not like the back yard of the U.S.”
Cerezo Arevalo took office after 30 years of dictatorships as the first democratically elected president in Guatemala.
His announcement came out of an Americas meetings at the Global Peace Convention, an annual even that attracts dignitaries from around the world.
A real partnership between Latin American countries and the United States will help solve international problems in areas like economics, security or immigration, Cerezo Arevalo said.
Within their own countries, the leaders’ agenda includes poverty and the marginalization of some citizens, including women and indigenous people.
“We are going to take advantage of the experience the leadership and the willingness of the former presidents,” said Cerezo Arevalo, “to make analyses and proposals to the current presidents of Latin America.”