April 12, 2024

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More concerned about internal elections, Biden calls for a summit with exceptions

More concerned about internal elections, Biden calls for a summit with exceptions

Written by Aram Aharonian and Alvaro Ferzi Rangel* -.

The US government refused to include all the countries of the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas scheduled for June in Los Angeles, so that they are truly continental, without marginalization or exclusion, in a decision that prioritizes the internal and electoral situation of ministers. United States, ahead of parliamentary elections in November.

The Summit will be held from 6-10 June under the theme “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future”. Its declared mission, as announced by the representatives of the host country, is the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, the “green” recovery, the “comprehensive” management of the migration phenomenon and the search for the hemisphere. Consensus on the challenges facing democracy today, as a form of government, across the region.

This will be the ninth in a series of summits that opened in Miami in 1994. At the eighth conference, which was held in Chile in 2018, the then US President, Donald Trump, was not considered a necessity to attend and was represented by a deputy. President Mike Pence. The next summit, scheduled for 2021, has been postponed due to the pandemic.

The agenda list includes discussions on transparency, corruption, inclusion, equity, sustainability of climate change, humanitarian approaches to migration, and respect for groups that suffer discrimination, including indigenous peoples and women. Although Biden’s central task has been to repair the damage done to relations with the region during the Trump presidency, he now prefers to follow the same line drawn by his predecessor.

“America is back,” Biden said, noting that the phase of international isolationism led by Trump is over and that multilateral alliances, whether formal or flexible, will be rebuilt to more successfully confront China and Russia, the United States’ adversaries in global hegemony. Especially when its involvement in the war in Ukraine has opened new holes in what it considers its “back yard”.

But the priorities were set on leaving the quagmire of Afghanistan, reasserting relations with Western Europe through NATO, confronting Russia in the Eurasian space, and spreading the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy, through the Quartet (EU, Australia, India and Japan). This is to inform China that a period of active containment of its expansion in that region has begun.

This design of its foreign policy did not take into account Latin America as such, with the exception of three minor areas: stopping the increasing migration of Central Americans through Mexico, to give a change of direction in policy towards Venezuela, where attempts to overthrow Nicolás Maduro proved futile, and doubling dialogues with regional leaders In order to put obstacles to China’s progress in the hemisphere space.

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Last December, Biden called a global summit of democracies, from which he excluded – in addition to China and Russia – eight Latin American countries: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti. But in the name of “democracy” he called the Philippines, Pakistan and Iraq,

No to FTAA

The White House was limited to saying, in an official statement, that “the Summit of the Americas is the only meeting for the entire hemisphere that brings together the leaders of countries in North, South, Central America, and the Caribbean.” American leadership in the Summit process highlights our deep historical commitment to the peoples of the Western Hemisphere. , as well as our determination to make the initiative to build a better world a reality”- Amen.

This is an opportunity that Washington has been waiting for to insist on the constitution of the Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas, the remembered Free Trade Area of ​​the Americas that was defeated at the previous Summit of the Americas, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 2005. And that is, really, the purpose of the United States in holding these summits, now Very concerned about the Russian advance, but above all the Chinese, in the region.

Publicly, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanded that all Latin American and Caribbean countries attend, but Washington fulfilled its threat of exclusion: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua will not invite the meeting due to the political and ideological differences they maintain. These three countries, said the head of US diplomacy for the region Brian Nichols.

“At a crucial moment in our hemisphere, we face many challenges to democracy,” Nichols declared, and Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela “do not respect the Democratic Charter of the Americas, and therefore I do not expect them to exist.” Once again, “democratic” government sets a toxic precedent of polarizing relations within continents and analysts fear that future meetings, the countries hosting the forums, could alienate rulers with whom they have economic or border conflicts, commercial or political disputes, or petty personal animosities. .

Insisting on leaving these three countries, arguing that their governments dislike Washington, is not only ugly but also undermines any possibility of building regional agreements of cooperation and understanding.

The Biden government does not recognize the presidents of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, considering that they were elected in undemocratic elections, that is, the candidates promoted by Washington did not win them. The United States has considered Juan Guaido as interim president since the president was re-elected in 2018.

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Guaido does not represent anyone in Venezuela, and is hardly a democrat, but he has benefited from large sums of money by the US government in their eagerness to overthrow the Bolivarian government by hook or crook.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Guaido on Monday and confirmed Washington’s recognition as “the interim president of Venezuela,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Even when they don’t recognize him in Venezuela and he exercises no power, except for wasting copious financial aid from Washington.

The exclusion of Venezuela seems hypocritical, because as a result of the war in Ukraine and its repercussions in terms of energy and oil supplies, Washington had no hesitation in seeking to resume the supply of Venezuelan hydrocarbons to the United States, which it imposes on it. Repeal some economic sanctions arbitrarily imposed to stifle Venezuela.

No one can doubt that the United States has much to talk about with Cuba, for example, the immigration and economic issues that have been resolved by the stubborn position of the Joe Biden administration to continue to tighten the anti-Havana measures that have been adopted. during the Donald Trump administration.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since what Washington called a “wave of repression” following the July 2021 protests on the island. Cuba blames the United States for being behind these protests.

There are no consistent bilateral contacts between the United States and Cuba, so the Los Angeles summit represented a perfect opportunity to resume the thaw that Barack Obama initiated, at a time when Biden was his running mate. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez stressed that ignoring the presence of the Caribbean country in that meeting represented a serious historical setback that would harm the objectives of the agreement.

In this context, Lopez Obrador asked Biden in his last phone conversation: How do we call the Summit of the Americas, but not call everyone? So where are the uninvited from? From what continent, from what galaxy, from what satellite?

Our fellow Mexican immigrants help us with more than 50 billion dollars annually. This has nothing to do with ideologies, nor with parties, nor with politics, this is help for their relatives. Why deny this possibility to Cubans who have families in Cuba? Why choking?

The President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, stressed that the United States does not understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed forever and that there is no room for re-doing the Monroe Doctrine and the vision of the American countries, which they intend to do. establish its dominance in the Western Hemisphere.

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The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had made the same point a week ago, who, in his recent dialogue with US leader, Joe Biden, asked to invite “all the peoples of America.”

In his criticism of the blockade of the island, López Obrador noted, assuming, without condescension, that this policy had achieved its goal of pitting Cuban society against its government (which is not possible, he said, because the dignity of that people resisted 60). years) would be a mean business. It’s like winning an expensive immoral battle.

Meanwhile, the Group of Puebla (GP, Progressive) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC) called for a Summit of the Americas to be held without excluding any country, in a clear message to its organizers.

“All Latin American countries require international cooperation and economic exchange to be able to bear the social bill and take care of the economic revitalization caused by the epidemic. The general practitioner noted that some of them, such as Cuba, can contribute a lot to new experiments to prevent and eliminate the virus and its possible new types. “.

He also stressed that this would be discriminatory for ideological reasons that would affect the capabilities of regional cooperation needed to overcome the coming crises.

For its part, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States insisted that “it is necessary to transcend ideological divisions and focus on finding coincidences”, due to the serious consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the region. Argentina, the interim president, urged organizers to “avoid the exceptions that prevent all hemisphere voices from being spoken and heard”.

The Democratic governor missed the opportunity to give a definitive indication of border demarcation in relation to his Republican predecessor and continues to act as a mere continuation of Trump’s whims. Now, the need to appear tough ahead of legislative elections, with the directive that demarcation of anti-integration policies continues without happening in Washington’s hemisphere policy areas and in the unjustified shutdown of immigration.

* Aharonian is a Uruguayan journalist and telecommunications scientist. MA in Integration. Innovator and founder of Telesur. He chairs and directs the Foundation for Latin American Integration (FILA). Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE). Ferzi Rangel is a Venezuelan sociologist, co-director of the Observatory for Communication and Democracy and a senior analyst at the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE).