Summit of the Americas | Major statements about cooperation and real tensions

(Los Angeles) The Summit of the Americas organized by Joe Biden in Los Angeles made key statements Thursday in favor of greater cooperation on the continent, but also exposed tensions between certain countries and the United States.

Updated yesterday at 8:41 PM.

Aurelia End
France media agency

Thus the US President experienced a moment of real diplomatic embarrassment when, in the middle of the plenary session of the event, he was criticized by the Prime Minister of Belize and then the President of Argentina, while sitting a few meters away.

« Il est inexcusable que tous les pays des Amériques ne soient pas ici », a déclaré le premier ministre du Bélize John Briceno, prenant en particulier la défense de Cuba et Venezuela du qui, comme le Nicaragua, n’ont convis sét United State.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said that “being the host country of the summit does not give the ability to decide who has the right or not” to participate.

Despite these disagreements over the list of participants, which have already prompted Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to avoid the summit, “on the core issues, what I heard was near-unity and unification,” but confirmed Joe Biden.

The US president specifically noted “almost complete agreement” on issues such as managing immigration and combating climate change.

The 79-year-old Democrat also showed a conciliatory tone during his first one-on-one meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, with whom there is no shortage of friction.

“common points”

He described Brazil as a “vibrant” democracy with “solid” institutions and praised the country’s “sacrifices” to protect the Amazon rainforest, during a speech attended by journalists ahead of the meeting.

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Jair Bolsonaro assured him he had “a lot in common” with the US president, such as being “Democrats” associated with “freedom”.

Photo by Jim Watson, AFP

Jair Bolsonaro and Joe Biden

However, the far-right president, notoriously climate skeptic, went there with his criticism of the Amazon rainforest, believing that Brazil feels “sometimes its sovereignty is threatened” about it.

The Brazilian head of state, again this week, publicly questioned the veracity of his American counterpart’s victory.

Jair Bolsonaro, who is seeking a second term but has been outdone in opinion polls by former President Lula, regularly attacks his country’s electoral system. As if he was already preparing for defeat, which worries Washington.

The very organization of the Summit of the Americas, the second of its kind in the United States since the first in 1994, has shown that the question of what democracy is, and the means of defending it, do not enjoy unanimity of opinion. at the regional level.

However, the Biden administration hopes to relaunch dialogue with a region that has not yet been its top diplomatic priority, and where China is offering its pawns.

And so the United States has announced initiatives on health and the environment, as well as an economic partnership with somewhat vague outlines, and wants to take up on Friday a major announcement on immigration cooperation.

But the Americans do not intend to imitate Beijing, which is investing heavily in the region, and would rather encourage private financing.

This earned Joe Biden another blow from the prime minister of Belize, who pointed to massive US aid to Ukraine and said sarcastically: “The question is how much (money) will be pledged to fund the ambitious program we are giving ourselves?”

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