May 16, 2022 12:14 am

Biden calls a summit to try to stop the advance of populism in Latin America

Washington correspondent



Given the polarization that lives Latin America between the advance of the Bolivarian ideology and the populism of the left and right, the White House has decided to bring together the democratic leaders of the continent in a special edition of the Summit of the Americas which will take place in June in Los Angeles and in which Joe Biden, after more than a year in power, will formulate a policy towards the continent, after having focused on controlling the pandemic and the growing tensions with Russia.

Both US diplomacy and legislators in the Foreign Affairs committees on Capitol Hill admit that they are concerned about the advance of Russia Y China in Latin America, especially after the Kremlin allowed itself to threaten on January 13 to increase its military presence in Cuba Y Venezuela in retaliation for NATO’s expansion to the east and western shelter of Ukraine.

Undersecretary of State for Latin America, Brian Nichols, said on Thursday, the summit will “emphasize democratic governance, in that, regardless of their position on the political spectrum, if the rulers were democratically elected and govern democratically, the United States The US will work with them to build a better future for the respective peoples and nations.”

Sin Trump and 2018

The Summit of the Americas is a meeting of heads of state and governments of the Americas, which takes place within the framework of the Organization of American States, OAS. Its objective is to discuss the problems facing the American continent, in order to improve economic well-being and collective security. The last one took place in 2018 in Peru, and he did not attend Donald Trump, but the then vice president, Mike Pence. The next meeting should have been in 2021 but it was postponed due to the pandemic. The American dictatorships have no representation in the OAS. Cuba is not a member, Chavismo was expelled in 2019 and Nicaragua is in the withdrawal phase.

It is doubtful whether the White House will invite to the summit Juan Guaido, whom the United States and fifty partners recognize as the legitimate representative of Venezuelan citizens in the face of the illicit perpetuation of Nicholas Maduro in the power. Asked by ABC, Undersecretary Nichols said that “the specific invitations will be determined by the White House in the coming weeks.” “Let me point out that democracy is a key priority for us in relation to the summit, and more broadly in the administration’s foreign policy, and that will be a key factor in who gets invited,” he added.

In December 2021, Biden invited Guaidó to another great summit of heads of government and state of democracies from around the world, although that one was held by video call due to the pandemic. The dictatorships of Venezuela, Nicaragua or Cuba were not present at that high-level meeting. Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which the US has separately accused of abuse of power and corruption, were also not invited.

Yes, crucial partners of the regimes of Cuba Y Venezuelaaccused of repression and serious human rights abuses, especially Mexico Y Argentina. However, the Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador he was absent, in a snub to Biden, and did not even delegate his foreign minister, but his ambassador to the US Guaidó participated in a special session, and not in the plenary.

A senior White House official also spoke to the media on Thursday about this summit of American democracies, saying he was aware of China’s progress in the Americas, with heavy investment in infrastructure, increased credit flow and intensifying trade ties. Even so, he denied that Biden wants to return to a dynamic like that of the Cold War, favoring some countries over bulls according to their loyalties. “The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are not chess pieces on a board, but rather independent nations that will make decisions based on their own national security interests. And for us to be competitive in that space, we have to be present, we have to stay active,” said that senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The truth is that China has recently managed to get Nicaragua to annul the recognition of the independence of Taiwan, an irredeemable island for Beijing. and has forged ties with Nayib B Watch, the president of El Salvador, accused of corruption by the US for reaching an agreement with criminal groups in his country to reduce murders in exchange for government concessions. Bukele denies it, but has been distancing himself from Washington since Trump’s departure.

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