The President of the United States, Joe Biden, is dismantling Trump’s Latin American policy. Reuters / Tom Brenner
These are not drastic changes, but the policy of the United States towards Latin America is changing dramatically. The second axis of evil theory has already been dismantled – the first was the Bush Jr. theory with Iraq, Iran and Syria – that Trump raised with Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. Next week, it is possible that the Havana government will be excluded from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. 320,000 Venezuelans have already been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Procedures for migrants entering the border with Mexico are subject to permanent review. Gone are Trump’s threats to invade Venezuela, or the rhetoric of his hawks John Bolton and Elliott Abrams. It is now Juan Sebastian Gonzalez is a native of Colombia, The National Security Adviser for the Western Hemisphere, who runs the new agenda for the continent and has direct access to Biden’s ear.
The president himself is a good expert in the region. During the eight years he spent with Barack Obama, Biden has visited Latin America 16 times More than any other US president or vice president. If you take into account your voting record in the Senate, you can see that it is Moderate with some conservative trends when it comes to economic agreements and something more liberal when we go to the humanitarian sphere (migration).
Mexico remains Washington’s biggest concern. And it does not come on its own. It is closely related to Central America. It is from there that the recent waves of immigrants come, and the Biden administration believes there must be an integrated policy for all of those countries. That is why he presented to Congress immigration reform that focuses on causes of immigration from Central America, with the A $ 4,000 million investment plan for the next four years To boost the economy of the region and stop the expulsion of its citizens. He also promised to “humanize” the process of entering the United States, after years of iron hand by Trump. Of course, this “will” will take some time and in no way translate into an “open door” policy.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R from Florida) during his presentation before the Foreign Policy Committee. Ken Sedno / Paul via Reuters
In a recent “virtual visit” to Mexico, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a clear warning to people fleeing poverty and misery in Central America: “To anyone who thinks about taking this trip, our message is: Do not do it. We strictly enforce new immigration laws and our border security procedures. The borders are closed to irregular immigration. ”However, pressure from the Mexican side is enormous and is increasing, in particular, A serious human rights dilemma. In the past two weeks The number of unaccompanied migrants detained at the border has tripled. Fears in February reached levels not seen since mid-2019, and were the highest that month in 15 years, according to data from Reuters.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said of Biden in the morning after a hypothetical meeting with his US counterpart on March 1: “They see him as the head of immigrants, which is why many feel that they will arrive in the United States.” “We have to work together to regulate the flow, because This cannot be handled overnightOf course, the gangs organizing the crossing of the undocumented do not wait and show “unprecedented levels of sophistication,” according to a senior Mexican official. Since the same day Biden took office, there has been an increase in the activities of “wolves”, experts on every nook and cranny of the border. They charge from Central America 3000 to 7000 dollars per person. If they are from South America or Asians, the amount could be as high as $ 20,000.
On his last day in the White House, on January 19, Trump signed an order to delay the deportations of Venezuelans by 18 months. Something that put them in administrative trouble and did not allow them to work. With Biden’s TPS, He can reside legally without major restrictions So you comply with the rules for accessing the famous green card. With this policy, the economic sanctions strategy is also being reversed to force Nicolás Maduro to call free elections. “This is not working. We have seen how the regime and the markets have adapted to the oil sanctions, and we can continue this way for who knows for how long. There is no rush to lift those sanctions, but there is recognition of that.” Unilateral fines did not work To impose elections and that the previous administration had failed to coordinate with Europe and allies regarding Latin America, “a State Department spokesman told a group of journalists in Washington on Monday.
President Biden visits Viña del Mar, Chile, in March 2009, with former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, former Presidents Lula da Silva, Michelle Bachelet and Christina Kirchner. Agence France-Presse / Martin Bernettes.
Biden, however,The pressure will continue until Maduro sits at the table and decides to call elections. “As soon as that happens, we will talk with the international community to find out which sanctions can be lifted,” the spokesman added. Change Gatopardista so that nothing changes. Unlike the European Union and the United States He continues to recognize Juan Guaidó as the responsible president of VenezuelaDespite the fact that the National Assembly, from which its constitutional legitimacy flowed, was dominated by the Chavismo after the December elections.
This is the same approach that Washington will take with Cuba. In the coming days, it will announce the removal of Al-Jazeera from the list of state sponsors of terrorism that it shares with Syria, North Korea and Iran, and that it will demand figures such as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio. Guterres and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. As for the rest, in Havana they will have to wait. They in Washington are in no hurry to return to rapprochement Baseball diplomacy Raised by Barack Obama. Although it is possible for Biden to refuse entry into force of Title Three of the Helms-Burton Act, which permits this Lawsuits by US citizens against international companies To use property confiscated by the Castro regime after the revolution. This rule has been suspended by all US presidents since 1996 and Trump decided to activate it in 2019.
For the rest of the continent there will be “bussines as usual.” Nothing will change drastically. But it won’t be the “forgetfulness” Trump had. Washington’s concern is centered around him China expands In the region. For example, Ecuador sells almost all of its oil production to the Asian giant. The agenda with Brazil is important, because of that country’s weight in South America and as an emerging power, although it is declining today. With Colombia, he will closely monitor the peace process. And with Argentina Everything will focus on the economic issue And negotiations with international financial organizations.
This is how Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, Vice President of the University of Torcuato de Tella, sees: “Joe Biden, after John F. Kennedy, is the second Catholic president of the United States. He admires Pope Francis and considers him “the moral wheel of the world.” It must be remembered that the Pope, in his dialogues with various heads of state, requested support for negotiations between the Argentine government and private creditors and a secret contact in the same direction between Francisco and Biden and in the face of a final agreement with Al-Qaa. Finally, if the position that Argentina brings to the negotiating table with the IMF is strong and sustainable, then there will be no reason for Washington to condition or reject it, especially when there was a shared responsibility in dealing with the debt issue. 2018-2019 between the government of Mauricio Macri and the IMF. “
Finally, there is the epidemic. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs There is concern about Chinese and Russian interference In this regard. Also because of the consequences that may lead to a mass migration of Latin America to the southern borders to escape an unprecedented health crisis. The United States continues to view Latin America as an important trading partner, and an ongoing health crisis in the South It could drive more people to search for their luck in the northHarold Trinkonas of Stanford University explains. But vaccine production is scarce for everyone and there will be no humanitarian aid until the Coronavirus crisis in its territory is resolved.
What Juan Gonzalez, Biden man of Latin America, thinks about Maduro, the wall with Mexico and the relationship with Argentina, Brazil and Colombia