On Thursday, Latin American leaders confronted US President Joe Biden face to face about his exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from an Americas conference he is holding, highlighting the obstacles he has in reclaiming leadership in the area.
Two other leaders criticized Biden in addresses that followed his inaugural address in Los Angeles, in which he set out his concept for a new US-Latin American economic alliance.
Biden stated on the opening day of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles that his government was dedicated to assisting Latin America and the Caribbean in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, combating illegal migration, and improving living conditions.
Briceno was followed by Argentina’s left-leaning president, Alberto Fernandez, who declared “the silence of those who are absent is calling to us” and insisted that the host country did not have the power to impose “right of admission” to the conference.
In his concluding comments, Biden responded to the leaders by saying: “A lot of significant ideas were discussed. Despite some disputes on participation, I heard virtually complete agreement on the core issues.”
After years of relative neglect under previous President Donald Trump, the summit was envisaged as an opportunity to reestablish US influence and fight China’s rising economic inroads in the area. However, Biden’s efforts have been hampered by the issue surrounding the guest list.
Biden asked U.S. business executives to assist improve the region’s ailing economies with additional investment and support for his ecologically friendly cooperation plan at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference.