The 3rd International Congress on Relations between Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe Claims the Role of These Regions in the World

More than a hundred participants from 24 countries have registered in the 3rd International Congress on “Relations between Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe: Images and Views on Both Shores”, which is taking place on the 21st and 22nd of March at the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe. (21/03/2023)

The first vice-president and regional minister of Finance and Public Administration, Pilar Blanco-Morales Limones, highlighted Extremadura for its European identity, its Ibero-American vocation and its cross-border reality, “three differential characteristics that represent an exception in the European context and that are included in our Statute of Autonomy, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year”. 

This is what she said at the opening of the 3rd International Congress on “Relations between Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe: Images and Views on Both Shores”, which will be taking place today and tomorrow at the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe.

In this sense, Blanco-Morales also recalled that eighty kilometres from Guadalupe is the Monastery of Yuste, another key space for the memory of Europe; spaces that make “Extremadura be ideal for Europe and Latin America to meet” due to history, tradition, identity and vocation.

According to the first vice-president, in these uncertain times we also need to be aware of the impact of the war on the countries on the other side of the Atlantic.  She, therefore, called for the need to create “meeting points, places of reflection and committed dialogue in order to progress towards the solutions that these challenges require”.

In this sense, she acknowledged the work done by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation to deepen knowledge of the European construction project, build bridges on both sides of the Atlantic and advance in “that horizontal and symmetrical conversation between Europe and Latin America, because we share similar problems and challenges”.

In a few days, the 28th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held and Spain will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year. These two events can help Europe and Latin America “regain their rightful place in the world”, she said, adding that Extremadura and the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation are already working towards this end.

In conclusion, the first vice-president took the opportunity to advocate reflection on the need to give the Ibero-American name the prominence it needs and proposed that in future editions, topics that “place the person and his/her private relationships at the centre of the universe” be tackled. 

The vice-rector of Quality and Strategy of the University of Extremadura, Mercedes Macías García, in turn, pointed out that the title of the congress reflects the great importance of considering the two perspectives of the Atlantic in order to understand the complexity of the relations between the two shores and their implications. In her opinion, this congress is an opportunity for reflection and debate so as to highlight the role that culture and education can play in strengthening ties between regions and to assess how we can move together towards a more prosperous and fairer future. 

The director of the Research Centre for Studies on Ibero-America (CEIB) at the Rey Juan Carlos University and director of the Congress, Cástor Díaz Barrado, stressed that in this time of turbulence and deep fragmentation “we must look for meeting points between Latin America and Europe, paying special attention to the psychological aspect, and the title of the Congress, therefore, tries to emphasize what unites us”.

In addition, the mayor of Guadalupe, Felipe Sánchez Barba, took the floor and thanked the institutions involved for the consolidation of activities in the municipality “making it a fundamental and necessary bridge between Latin America and Europe”.

The Guardian and Custodian of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, Brother Guillermo Cerrato Chamizo, expressed his desire that the Congress be a meeting place and a “bridge laid permanently and open to both shores” and said that Guadalupe is an “observatory of the invisible” because, in his opinion, good scholars cultivate the noblest dimension of the human being, which is his/her projection of transcendence.

Among its objectives, this congress intends to deepen the interaction that has been taking place between America and Europe for over five centuries. It also seeks to prioritise the research that studies this relationship, which has been shaping a historical reality in both spaces and is noted in a cultural and material heritage which is in many cases common.

34 papers have been received, 15 of which will be presented by their authors during the congress and the rest will be published in Yuste Foundation’s YouTube channel for consultation.

The Congress is organised by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, the University of Extremadura (UEx) and the Research Centre for Studies on Ibero-America of the Rey Juan Carlos University and it counts with the collaboration of the city council of Guadalupe and the Franciscan Community.