Glum Spain hosts summit for booming Latam nations

November 16, 2012 - 11:33 AM
Spain Iberoamerican Summit

Portugal's President Cavaco Silva, right, and his wife Maria Cavaco, second right, shake hands after their arrival at the airport of Jerez to take part at the 22nd Iberoamerican summit in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Cadiz host a two-day summit that brings Latin American leaders together with those of Spain and Portugal, two countries badly hit by the economic crisis. This summit coincide with the bicentennial celebrations of the liberal 1812 Spanish Constitution, popularly known as “La Pepa.” (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)

CADIZ, Spain (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is opening the Iberoamerican summit, which brings together Latin American leaders and the heads of Spain and Portugal, the former colonial powers.

The meeting comes at a time when Latin America basks in strong economic growth and Spain and Portugal are stuck in deep recessions and struggling with high debt.

Heads of state from Mexico to Chile started arriving Friday in the port city of Cadiz, where conquistadores centuries ago unloaded riches taken from former Spanish colonies.

Police in Cadiz fired rubber bullets Friday afternoon at shipyard workers trying to disrupt the summit with a demonstration against mass layoffs that disrupted traffic for an hour.