Summit of the Americas: An important week for Biden’s foreign policy | The meeting begins in Los Angeles on Monday with the Civil Society Organizations Forum

from Washington DC

A prime week begins for the government Joe Biden on matters of foreign policy. This Monday, in the city Los Angeles CaliforniaIn the framework of ., representatives of civil society, the private sector and the governments of the continent will meet Ninth Summit of the Americas. Not all: There is no invitation from the United States for presidents Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Luis Ars of Bolivia said he’s not going. The final list of attendees is unknown, although there are still hours before the region’s leaders begin landing on the North American nation’s sunny west coast.

The main absence may be the absence of the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who announced that he will not attend If not all countries of the region are called. The United States excludes Daniel Ortega, Nicolas Maduro and Miguel Diaz-Canel, the leaders of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba, respectively, from the meeting, considering them undemocratic. Over the past week, the White House hinted that it had “final considerations” on the guest list and said it would be announced “soon,” but as of the beginning, there was no news.

A number by the Council of the Americas was also attended by the heads of state of the so-called Northern Triangle written in pencil: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The three countries are referred to in the policy immigration Washington as exporters of people who cross Mexico and reach the US border. The possible absence of the leaders of these countries, as well as the absence of López Obrador, will be directly detrimental to the goals of the White House regarding this summit, in which he intends to reach a new immigration agreement for the region.

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Last week, Biden’s top Latin American adviser, Juan Gonzalez, said on a call with reporters that the US president “personally wants” Lopez Obrador to be on top.

Migration, Diversity and DD.HH.

This is the new edition of the Regional Forum, the second organized by the United States since the Summit 1994 in Miami, It will have three parallel discussion spaces. The first will be the Civil Society Organizations Forum, which begins on Monday and will focus on issues of migration, diversity and human rights. There will also be a private sector meeting, where the economic recovery after the crisis caused by the Covid pandemic and the technological transformation in the region will be discussed. For the third forum, young people are invited in a hybrid form to discuss climate change, corruption and networking.

Eyes will be set, above all, on leaders meeting. The summit will be, for the host country, primarily a thermometer that will allow it to estimate the real impact it currently has on the continent. Nowhere on the known agenda is there any mention of China, the elephant in the region. However, competition with the Asian giant is one of the main concerns of the White House.

For the heads of state of Latin America and the Caribbean, it will be more than just an assessment. In four years of presidency Donald Trump, Washington’s foreign policy toward America has been limited above all to opposing Cuba and Venezuela and promoting a wall on the border with Mexico. The former president even missed the previous Summit of the Americas, held in Peru in 2018. Instead, he sent Vice President Mike Pence.

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Biden’s arrival in office in January 2021 raised expectations in a region that has felt neglected for the past four years. The Democrat, who has a long history in American politics, could spark a new relationship. But now, a year and a half into his tenure, he doesn’t have much to show on that front. Under his administration, the focus of the United States was primarily on recovering from pandemic, That caused more than a million deaths in the North American country. At the foreign level, he focuses on Eastern Europe, Ukraine and seeing what Russia is doing.

This new edition of the Summit of the Americas, which begins on Monday, comes to show Biden the true state of the relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean. For the rest, it will let them see how much Washington is willing to do if it wants to compete with China in the region.

Freddie Dawson

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