The Americas has only one America in the Biden administration
Media reports claim the 9th Summit of the Americas will humiliate Biden but does he even take Latin America seriously?
Since 1994, representatives from nations spanning the entire Western hemisphere, from Canada to Chile, meet regularly every few years in the Summit of the Americas. The 8th Summit was in Lima, Peru in 2018; the 9th Summit will be the first for the Biden administration and will be held in Los Angeles next week, from June 6-10.
Just this week, the LA Times reported, “the agenda is set but the guest list remains shrouded in mystery.” Though senior White House officials aim to discuss serious hemispheric challenges - climate change, migration, pandemic recovery and economic growth - the official site is rather sparse. As sparse as media coverage of the Summit.
In the 10 most recent Americas headlines on the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, zero mention the 9th Summit. To be clear, I’m not referring to the front page of these media outlets which understandably are giving serious attention to mass shootings and gun reform, US jobs growth and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Those linked pages specifically are a list of articles tagged Americas or Latin America. And the Summit starts Monday.
Of the scant media coverage, a mix of mockery and dismay has been directed at the host nation’s inability to finalize a guest list prior to the 5 day summit. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador believes all Latin American leaders should be invited and would not commit to attending if Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are excluded. Many Caribbean countries threatened to boycott but it seems will now attend. And it is unclear if Bolivia, Chile and Honduras will be in attendance.
Even if the Summit agenda were finalized, which is hard to believe if you visit the official website, how would attendees prepare if they don’t know if they are invited? These Summits are every 3-4 years. Is the White House planning to ‘shoot the shit’ instead of preparing actual plans to be implemented on climate change, migration, pandemic recovery and economic growth?
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