Joe Biden arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a Summit of the Americas that would have to relaunch Latin American relations, with many promises of partnership but no intimidating financial announcements.
He landed early in the afternoon in California to meet with heads of state and government who were invited for a week -long discussions in the United States.
Among them, far -right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, with whom he had his first bilateral meeting on Thursday.
It promises to be dangerous, the White House has assured that Joe Biden intends to discuss the topic in Brazil’s next election, especially controversial for Jair Bolsonaro.
The latter, who is seeking a second term but is struggling in the election, is critical of his country’s electoral system, as he is already contemplating fighting possible defeat.
Joe Biden wants to revitalize relations in the region that have not preceded his presidency until now, which has been monopolized by the war in Ukraine and the rivalry with China.
But China is, in fact, increasingly developing its presence in a region that Washington has long considered its field, with heavy energy investment, generous infrastructure funding, arms sales and delivery of vaccine against Covid-19.
– Xi Jinping’s eleven visits –
The Council of Foreign Relations counts that Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited the region 11 times since taking office in 2013.
Joe Biden has not visited Latin America since taking office in January 2021.
Washington did not intend to respond to China’s aggressive financial announcements.
“The United States never thought that its advantage in the world consisted only of raising large amounts of public money,” said the White House’s top diplomatic adviser, Jake Sullivan.
However, the U.S. goal is to “open up large amounts of private finance to enable inclusive economic growth” on the continent, he said.
However, the United States has announced a 100 million dollar training plan for half a million health professionals in Latin America. And Joe Biden will unveil a $ 300 million food security package, Jake Sullivan said.
The U.S. executive also presented on Wednesday a “Partnership of the Americas for Economic Prosperity”.
This is, according to Americans, to revive regional institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, or to fight against climate change and corruption while promoting trade.
But there is no question, as at the first Summit of the Americas in 1994, in Miami, of the thunderous boasting of the virtues of free trade, which are no longer favored by governments or public opinion.
Since this first edition, the United States has lost influence in the region, as shown by the relatively chaotic launch of the summit.
– Immigration –
Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador thus decided to avoid the meeting to protest against the fact that neither Cuba, nor Venezuela, nor Nicaragua were invited to the White House, due to the “reservations” of democracy in these three nasud.
Joe Biden also had an interview on Wednesday, before his arrival, with rival Juan Guaido, who is recognized by the United States as interim president of Venezuela.
According to the White House, the United States is ready to “calibrate” sanctions against the current regime of Nicolas Maduro, if there is progress toward a “negotiated solution” to Venezuela’s political crisis.
The loss of Mexico’s president risks being overwhelmed by discussions about immigration, a key issue in the country’s politics for Joe Biden.
The Republican opposition has taxed him with vulnerability, as many migrants regularly arrive at the southern border of the United States.
Washington wants Los Angeles to adopt a major regional declaration on the subject, plans that are not yet clear.
On Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced private sector commitments worth $ 1.9 billion to support job creation in Central America and reluctance to leave the United States.