Summit of the Americas supposed to be a Biden’s triumph
It turned out to be a miserable failure instead
The summit of the Americas from June 6 to 10 in Los Angeles was a home game for president Biden, but he failed to score. On the contrary, the summit turned out to be a fiasco for him. It shows once again how the US balance of power in the region is increasingly being compromised.
Earlier this month, the US declared that it wanted to officially exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles from June 6 to 10. The U.S. government cited ” the lack of democratic space and respect for Human Rights” in these three countries.
The summits of the Americas have existed since 1994 and bring together the 35 countries of the continent. The United States has no official legitimacy to prohibit any country from participating. The decision to exclude the three countries concerned is therefore unlawful.
The goal of the United States is to return to the situation that existed before the seventh summit in 2015, in which Cuba participated for the first time. From the creation of the summit of the Americas until the sixth summit in 2012, Washington had managed to impose its policy of isolation from Cuba.
The new hardening of the US shows the growing resistance across the continent.
During the sixth summit, several countries threatened not to participate if Cuba was not invited. When the US and Canada held their ground, three countries (Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela) acted on their threat and boycotted the summit. Argentina and Bolivia did come to the summit, but only to announce that they would not participate in the work for the same reasons. That led to a crisis that forced the US and Canada to lift their veto on Cuba.
The new hardening of the US by no means signifies the victory of Washington’s supremacist and imperialist strategy, but demonstrates the growing resistance throughout the continent.
The day after the unilateral decision of the United States, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he would not come to the summit and that the Mexican delegation headed by the minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard had the task of making the lifting of the embargo against Cuba the main point of contention of the summit.
“The lifting of sanctions against Cuba will be the central theme of the summit. These sanctions are nothing but a murderous financial, economic and trade blockade. We stress that the blockade is inhumane (…) and ineffective and is condemned by all countries participating in the summit, with the exception of the United States and Canada. No country has the right to dictate to another how it should govern itself. The basis for a new approach to the summit of the Americas is mutual respect. That is what we stand for and will always stand for.”
The official agenda of the summit was a regional cooperation agreement on immigration. Washington wants to transform the law enforcement of each of the American countries, especially Mexico, into a repressive force against the thousands of migrants trying to move to the United States. This immigration is caused by the massive impoverishment resulting from both the ultra-liberal policies imposed by Washington and the US interference against Venezuela.
With the election of a progressive president in Mexico in 2018, this beautiful plan of the US is falling apart. Immediately after his election, The New Mexican president withdrew from the Lima Group, a gathering of pro-Washington states that aims to overthrow the Venezuelan regime.
He also supported president Evo Morales during the coup against the president and subsequently granted him political asylum. He proposes to grant asylum to Julien Assange. He rejects the economic sanctions demanded by the United States against Russia and, in particular, the ban on Russian flights to Mexico.
As for the current summit and its migration agenda, he decided to grant a temporary release to the thousands of migrants who have moved to the US from the borders of Guatemala via Mexico. In doing so, he made it clear that the answer to these mass migrations is not a matter of security, as Washington claims, but can only be social and economic.
US blockade of Cuba
Let us not forget that the blockade against Cuba has been in force since 1962, and it was imposed in response to the nationalization of American companies, i.e. in opposition to a sovereign act based on international law. According to the United Nations, the blockade has already cost $ 148 billion.
The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution against the US blockade every year since 1982. The most recent, from June 2021, calls for disobedience to US laws: “the General Assembly urges all states not to proceed to approve or implement laws and measures such as the US Helms-Burton Act of March 12, 1996.”
“The extraterritorial effects of that law constitute an infringement on the sovereignty of other states and the legitimate interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction, as well as on freedom of trade and navigation. The General Assembly urges states that continue to apply such laws or measures to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible. It also expresses its concern that, since the adoption of its previous resolutions, the blockade against Cuba is still in force.”
The resolution was adopted by 184 votes in favor and 2 votes against (United States and Israel), with 3 abstentions (Brazil, Colombia and Ukraine).
Cuba is not the only country whose people are paying the price for this policy of violence and interference. Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Russia are currently under an embargo. In addition, there are the embargoes of the past: against the people of Vietnam from 1975 to 1994, against the Iraqi people from 1990 to 2003, against Libya from 1992 to 2003, and so on.
The country that presents itself as “the defender of democracy and freedom in the world” uses the weapon of hunger and disease most often and most fiercely.
It is seen that the country that presents itself as “the defender of democracy and freedom in the world” uses the weapon of hunger and disease (the result of these embargoes) most often and most fiercely.
New global balance of power
The current summit of the Americas illustrates the growing difficulties of the United States in legitimizing its policy of interference. President Biden announced a few months ago that this summit would usher in “the renewal of inter-American relations,” but the summit was a huge fiasco. Large demonstrations accompanied the opening of the summit with signs reading “Cuba, Venezuela presente “or” Biden, Latin America is not yours “or”demilitarization of the continent”.
On the eve of the summit, the United States could not yet disclose the list of participants, as many countries doubted whether to participate. Cuba announced the organization of a counter-summit on June 27 in Havana. Bolivian president Luis Arce also said “ ” if they want to organize a meeting between friends, they should certainly do so, but they cannot call it the summit of the Americas”.
The newspaper Libération headlined its report on the opening of the summit with “ “peak of confusion at the summit of the Americas”.
The renewed aggressiveness of the US on the American continent, which is symbolized by this decision to unilaterally exclude three countries, is part of a broader carrot-and-stick strategy, which has no other goal than to hinder the growing ties between China and the countries of Latin America.
The renewed aggressiveness of the US is part of a broader carrot-and-stick strategy to hinder the growing ties between China and the countries of Latin America.
The stick of the embargo and the exclusion were accompanied by the carrot of a $ 100 million plan to train half a million health workers in Latin America. The so-called New Health Corps of the Americas project aims to counteract the significant increase in agreements between Cuba and many countries to send health workers and between China and those same countries to supply drugs and vaccines against COVID-19.
The fiasco of the Top of the Americas is an indicator of the new global balance of power, which puts the dominant powers that consider the world their property in serious trouble.