America’s summit: a scene of encounters and ‘disagreements’ in the region

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The ninth edition is marked by the boycotts of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Am.  Joe Biden at the opening ceremony of the K IX summit
Joe Biden at the opening ceremony of America’s IX Summit.EFE
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The coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have highlighted the strong ties to globalization and the importance of international organizations and diplomacy in solving new global challenges or entrenched old problems. If the World Health Organization (WHO) took a step forward with the presence of Covid-19 or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rose from its ashes with the Russian offensive against Ukraine, the US summit could be held these days. Having been in Los Angeles is a scene of encounters and ‘disagreements’ in an area in complete transformation, with the North and South perpetually confronting each other for ‘condemnation’ and a host of understandings – US President , Joe Biden – who has yet to fully reveal his foreign policy lines.

What is the Summit of America and how did it happen?

Broadly speaking, it is a meeting of all the leaders of the American continent in which the burning issues of the region are discussed. Using an official definition and according to the Summit Secretariat website, “Have regular meetings that bring together democratically elected heads of state and government To discuss and make decisions on issues relevant to the region of America.” convened for the first time by US President Bill Clinton in 1994 and in Miami with the aim of “promoting economic growth and prosperity across all of America.” As the US State Department Recalls. The summit was born with a commercial purpose but the diplomatic part has prevailed. Proof of this are the words of host Joe Biden’s inaugural speech: “At a time when democracy is under attack in the world, Let’s unite again.” In addition to everything that surrounded the summit in the days prior to its organization, since this edition has been marked back and forth about the invitations, which eventually resulted in the ousting of the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Is. This is precisely why there is a lack of democratic guarantees. Currently, civil society, the private sector and the media are also part of these meetings.

How many summits have been held?

is current ninth edition And back to US territory. It is taking place this week in Los Angeles and, as already mentioned, the first one was in Miami. Later, with a duration of about three years, they were followed by Santiago de Chile (Chile, 1998), Quebec (Canada, 2001), Mar del Plata (Argentina, 2005); Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago, 2009), Cartagena (Colombia, 2012), Panama City (Panam, 2015) and Lima (Peru, 2018). Two extraordinary summits occurred in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia, 1996) and Monterey (Nuevo León, Mexico, 2004).

Why in Los Angeles (California)?

To connect the metropolis with the rest of the countries in the region. An argument that the US State Department explains with data: “More than 224 languages ​​are spoken in the city, and its population represents 140 countries”,

Is America’s Summit part of an international organization?

No, but it’s supported by over a dozen of them. For example, the Secretariat of the Summit of Americas depends on the Organization of American States (OAS) and is in charge of guaranteeing the entire process of the summit.

What is the axis of the current summit?

motto is ‘Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future’, based on concerns expressed by all actors involved in the work process of the Summit – citizens, institutions and governments-. A phrase based on the pandemic and “the cracks it exposed”.

Why is this also a scenario of ‘disagreement’?

Although the Summit of the Americas is intended to be a setting for face-to-face meetings of all actors in the region on political, economic and social issues, it also highlights protests, discussions between leaders, or rudeness. Let us cite concrete examples. Republican Donald Trump did not attend 2018, which took place in Lima (Per). The Reason? “The president will be in the United States to monitor the US response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at the time. He was referring to an alleged chemical attack in the city of Duma in connection with the diplomatic crisis triggered by an alleged chemical attack in the Duma on Saturday. The foreign policy position of the former president has always raised many hopes. That’s why his absence was important and it’s why all eyes are now on Biden and his relationship with Latin America – which has always been called America’s “backyard”. With regard to civil society, this Ninth Summit of America emphasizes migration. A migrant caravan of about 15,000 people is heading towards the US-Mexico border, in addition to protests at the gates of the Los Angeles festival.

Why has the ninth edition generated so much hope?

Before the hosts’ invitations were known, all kinds of statements were made about possible boycotts of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, as three countries lacked democratic guarantees and the rest of the countries had allegedly invited at the time. about this. The Joe Biden administration confirmed the suspicions and Daniel Ortega, Miguel Diaz-Canel and Nicolas Maduro will not be in Los Angeles. The key figure in charge of the US State Department for Latin America, Brian Nichols, explained the decision as: Venezuela “lacks freedom” and is a “political prisoner”, a position that is “contrary to the original documents of the Summit of America”. , EF reported. This prompted other leaders, as they had already announced, to leave. They are the Mexican president, Anders Manuel López Obrador; the Bolivian, Luis Arce; and the Honduran, Xiomara Castro. Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei (due to scheduling problems) and Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Po (positive for coronavirus) will also be absent. Only the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, whom Maduro has appointed as Venezuela’s “voice”, will do so.

Is this the only meeting that brings American nations together?

The Summit of the Americas is characterized by being one of the few that includes all the nations from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. However, the list of institutions, organizations or discussion groups across the American continent is long. Spain is included Ibero-American Summit, not to be confused with Summit of America. Following this clarification that concerns us, we can refer to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Alberto Fernández is the ‘pro tempore’ president; The Lima Group and the Puebla Group, both of which emerged as a result of the Venezuelan crisis; The Organization of American States (OAS), perhaps the most powerful, and with its head Luis Almagro; The League of South American Nations (UNASURE), the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR)… but delving into each of them is the mission of the second article.

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