Summit of the Americas exhibits division in Latin America

Saint Joseph. – The IX Summit of the Americasscheduled from June 6 to 10 in Los Angeles, California, is on the verge of failure due to a sign that seems like the sign of the times in the Western Hemisphere: the deep inter-American political division.

Although most of the 35 American governments confirmed that they will attend the conclave, not all of them will be represented by their leaders (presidents or prime ministers) and some will send vice presidents or foreign ministers, they will place the president of the United States, Joe Biden, before a meeting with emissaries of second rank, and will show the deep divergence that persists in the continent.

“More than a divided region, there is a region in a transition that is sometimes painful,” said the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Arturo McFields, who on March 23 resigned from his position in that forum and denounced the political repression in Nicaragua.

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“Some countries turn to the left and others to the right. These pendulum political movements in the Americas give that sense of distance. Right now there is a rearrangement of the ideological configuration on the map and we see it from Colombia to Brazil or in Central America,” McFields told THE UNIVERSAL.

“These changes increased the struggles. When one nation comes turning to the left, the other turns to the right and these clashes occur. But almost all of them are democratic and relatively stable, except Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua”, he stated.

Tensions intensified this month between Mexico and the US due to the decision of the White House to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the meeting, arguing that they are anti-democratic regimes and violators of human rights. At the III Summit of the Americas, in 2001 in Canada, the 34 American governments —without Cuba— agreed that the “essential condition” to participate is “strict respect for the democratic system”.

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, announced the day before yesterday that he gave up going to Los Angeles, because Washington designated the attorney general of his country, Consuelo Porras, on the 16th of this month, on a list for “significant acts of corruption,” and the Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, said that “we are not interested in going to that summit” because “it gets dirty, it gets muddy.”

By conditioning his presence at the summit this month on the US desisting from exclusions, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, unintentionally opened an old pot that burns with disintegration, divergences, estrangements and lawsuits in Latin America and the Caribbean with Washington and between Latin American and Caribbean governments.

Biden this week eased economic sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela. However, since January 2019 and together with fifty American, European and Asian countries, Washington has ignored Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela, argued that he was re-elected, in May 2018, in illegitimate elections, and accepted as interim ruler the opponent Juan Guaidó.

With Caracas, Biden seeks to reopen the supply of crude oil and, with Havanaease the financial woes of Cubans and contain their waves of migration to the US.

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With their leaders ideologically in opposite corners, the Brazil of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro and the Argentina of the center-left Alberto Fernández are far apart.

In antagonistic political spectrums, the Colombia of the center-right Iván Duque and the Nicaragua of the leftist Daniel Ortega prolonged their maritime delimitation messes in a frequent crossing of attacks: Duque accuses Ortega of being a dictator and Nicaragua calls Colombia a narco-state.
Duque’s Colombia and Maduro’s Venezuela are on a collision course from their political extremes.

Diplomatic ties are frozen between Costa Rica, the most stable democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Nicaragua, with a regime accused since 2018 of being a dynastic dictatorship, violating human rights and restricting democratic and electoral freedoms.

The block contact in Central America—Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and the Dominican Republic—is paralyzed or is only bilateral.

The Honduras of the leftist president Xiomara Castro allied himself with Ortega, ignored Guaidó, recognized Maduro and joined López Obrador in demanding that exclusions in Los Angeles be avoided. Castro still hasn’t decided if she will attend.

Since 2019, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil have ignored Maduro and recognized Guaidó.

Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba and Nicaragua do recognize Maduro. The Chile of the leftist Gabriel Boric remains undefined if he maintains recognition of Guaidó and grants it to Maduro, whose government he reproached for violating human rights. Caught in a deep internal crisis, the Peru of Pedro Castillo, with an apparent position on the left, ignores Guaidó and Maduro, but has approached the Bolivia of the leftist ruler Luis Arce.

Attached to abstentionism and non-interference in internal Nicaraguan affairs, the government of Lopez Obrador He hesitantly reacted to the intense political repression in Nicaragua and distanced himself from the forceful attitude adopted by the United States and other Latin American and Caribbean countries to repudiate Ortega’s repressive practice.

In a turn in previous March, Mexico supported the United Nations Organization (UN) a resolution that accepted complaints that, without democracy or freedom, human rights are violated in Nicaragua.

Argentina is concerned about Ortega’s alliance with Iranian government officials whom he blames for the terrorist attack in Buenos Aires in 1994 against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) that left 85 dead.

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, which form the Caribbean Community (Caricom), They warned this month in a block of 14 that if Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are excluded, they will not go to Los Angeles either.

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