The White House’s decision to exclude the authoritarian governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from this Summit of the Americas had not only a political but also an economic basis, argued a US government official.
“Reaffirming the commitment to protect democratic governance is going to give the private sector the opportunity to bring in more investment and work on the economic development plan that President Biden announced,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, an Ecuadorian-American who was a legislator. Democrat for Florida and today she is a special adviser to Joe Biden for the Summit of the Americas.
In response to those who recalled that another Democratic president, Barack Obama, had given his endorsement for Raúl Castro to attend the Panama Summit in 2015, Mucarsel-Powell explained: “We are in a completely different moment now where we see the threats to governance much larger democratic A world where Russia attacked Ukraine, where disinformation threatens civil society by dividing, creating chaos, threatening democratic institutions and that is why it is important to remember that when this summit began in 1994, its pillar, its focus, was to protect democratic governance, protect the right of citizens to free elections, the separation of the branches of government… I am optimistic that the countries that are participating will come out with that commitment to be able to make the region grow economically”.
In his opening speech at the Summit, the President of the United States launched the Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas. Mucarsel-Powell explained that his first steps will be to “strengthen the supply chain affected by the pandemic and security in ports that allow for the strengthening of commercial exchanges with the Mercosur countries, for example.”
In addition, she assured that there will be “job training and empowerment of women who until now do not have access to finances or credit so that they can participate in trade.” But there is a point on which the US government places special emphasis: “We are talking with the private sector so that they bring their factories that are in China or other countries to countries in Central and South America, but respecting the labor laws of the United States and those countries”.
An essential vehicle to achieve this move to the near shore of US investments concerned about the disruption in the commercial chain caused by the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be the IDB, as explained by its president, Mauricio Claver-Carone.
“Our goal is to equate the sovereign portfolio and the private sector portfolio, which would basically double the financing that we are carrying out,” Claver-Carone said.