It was supposed to be a big honor for Joe Biden to host this year’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The only problem is that nobody in Latin America wants to come to his party.
Latin America miffed at Joe
They’re supposed to talk about things like trade, prosperity, immigration and democracy. Joe told half the Latin countries not to bother sending leaders, because communists aren’t welcome here.
The other half are boycotting because the others aren’t allowed. Everyone in “the Americas” except America would rather deal with China.
Los Angeles Times notes that all the Latin American nations wonder “what happened to the spirit of collaboration?” They also want to know “why division and acrimony have come to overshadow the joint effort.” They’re really starting to think the whole shebang might not be worth the effort.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, el Presidente of Mexico, RSVP’d his regrets “after the Biden administration announced it would not invite Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua.” That was the first of the dominoes. “Bolivia followed Mexico’s lead, and several Central American countries are still on the fence.”
Mack McLarty was around when Bill Clinton set up the first Summit of the Americas in 1994. Things are different this time. McLarty “holds out hope” that Biden’s handlers can “set up a bridge” to “reengage with other countries in the region.” He’s not holding his breath though. The region isn’t what it was 30 years ago.
“The diminishing influence of the United States in Latin America is a byproduct of toxic polarization,” Manuel Orozco adds. The inter-American expert explains we “haven’t had the leadership to show why democracy matters. Politics and democracy are not talking to each other.”
A chaotic scramble
The thing that has Biden totally flustered are the “decisions or threats from several leaders to boycott the event, a position unheard of in 1994 and in most summits that have occurred since.”
That, insiders say, has “thrown the White House’s preparations for the summit into a chaotic scramble.” It creates “bad optics,” since Joe “has prided himself on his familiarity with Latin America.”
One of the big focuses was supposed to be immigration but “experts have questioned what progress can be made if Mexico and some of the Central American countries that are the sources of most of the illegal immigration into the U.S. are not present at the event.” Another game changer is China.
The communist party “has grown exponentially and has made deep inroads into Latin America through its $4.3 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure and import-export initiative, of particular appeal to governments that don’t want to be challenged on democratic practices or human rights.”
Biden wants them to stop sending migrants and clean up their corruption. Xi Jinping only wants to make them rich. They don’t need no steenking summit.