Government Watch / Politics

Three No-Shows Shatter the Pretenses of Biden’s Summit of the Americas

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Biden Americas meetingWhile most Americans likely didn’t notice, Friday concluded the 2022 “Summit of the Americas” in Los Angeles, in what was intended to be a demonstration of both the Biden administration’s commitment to dealing with the historic surge in illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and their claim of ending the “diplomatic isolation” of the Trump years. While both Kamala Harris and Joe Biden were in attendance, the Presidents of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras were not. Their excuses varied, but all seemed to reflect an understanding that the Summit’s purpose was to serve as a PR stunt for the administration rather than a forum to discuss real problems.

Notably, this was not the first sign of tension between the Biden administration and Latin American leaders. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammatei had complained to Fox News in December of 2021 that he had never been contacted by Harris after a June 2021 summit, triggering a belated phone call in January of 2022. The lesson was clear: these “summits” are useless. Harris will show for a photo op, and never follow-up. The only way to get attention or action on the migration and border problems is to appear on Fox News or other right-leaning U.S. outlets and complain, at which point you might get a belated phone call.

That may explain why Mexico’s Andrew Manual Lopez Obrador, and Honduras’s Xiomara Castro also felt free to boycott this latest press event. Both are left-leaning leaders and pointed to the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the summit, a decision the Biden administration made under pressure of a threatened boycott by Columbia. But it should be noted that such grandstanding did not prevent Obrador from forging a close cooperative relationship with the Trump administration. It is only the clear absence of any substantive discussion or proposals at the Summit which allowed Obrador and Xiomara Castro to use Biden’s public relations stunt as a platform to make a political statement of their own.

By contrast, El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele, like Giammatei, is a man of the right, not the left. He recognized Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and is one of the few world leaders who is an outspoken defender of Taiwan. Yet he has come under attack from the Biden administration, which not only excluded El Salvador (along with Guatemala) from its “Summit of Democracies” in December, but in May sanctioned five of Bukele’s Ministers, and cut humanitarian aid to the government, shifting it to opposition-aligned civil society organizations, many of which provide pro bono legal defense to MS-13, the infamous paramilitary drug gang.

It would be foolish to base foreign policy toward Latin America purely on a principled commitment to behaving like Switzerland when real threats exist, ranging from uncontrolled migrant caravans, the open alignment of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela with Russia, Iran, and China, and rampant trade in illicit narcotics. At the least it would be consistent. But typical of the Biden administration, policies are applied haphazardly, in a manner guaranteed to create hypocritical double-standards. The same administration which sanctioned Bukele, the legitimacy of whose election no one, including Biden, contests, has been pushing since February for a rapprochement with Caracas which would see Venezuelan oil return to global markets. On May 17th the administration began the process of loosening sanctions, and on May 27th it approved a waiver for Chevron to operate in Venezuela, bypassing sanctions.

As for Cuba, which holds no multi-candidate elections whatsoever, the Biden administration loosened Trump-era restrictions on travel and remittances to the island in May. Even the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas seems to have been a stunt which backfired rather than a principled stand in defense of democracy. The Biden administration had floated the idea that it “might” exclude the three states in April, while stressing that invitations had not yet been sent out to anyone. It seems to have been intended as an inducement: “Respond positively to our efforts to engage or we might not let you come to LA to hang out with Kamala for a week.” Ortega showed a rare human side when he flatly stated his disinterest in an extended interaction with the Vice President. “I say from here to the Yankee: forget it, we are not interested in being in that Summit, we are not interested… that summit does not exalt anyone,” Ortega told the press. This was followed by an almost farcical effort by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to accuse Ortega and Cuba of using a boycott to grandstand. A policy intended to show strength and leverage had instead revealed weakness and a lack of leverage. An effort to use the issue of invitations to grandstand by the Biden administration had ended with the administration accusing the targets of the effort of using the very same issue as propaganda against the U.S.

In short, Biden’s Latin American policy is yet another area where a mixture of arrogance, pettiness, incompetence, and lack of vision has resulted in an approach that alienates everyone. By floating the prospect of excluding Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as leverage rather than simply excluding them at the start and turning the Summit into a meeting of allies as Trump was apt to do, the Biden administration allowed them to boycott it themselves, giving other left-wing regimes an excuse to do so. By trying to create a false equivalency between the imperfection of right-leaning governments like El Salvador and Guatemala and dictatorships such as Cuba, the Biden administration not only alienated allies on migration and other issues, but also prompted anger even from third parties, such as Brazil’s President Bolsonaro.

The United States needs a clear vision of what it wants in its own hemisphere. Donald Trump had one: It involved determining core American interests – preventing uncontrolled migration, isolating authoritarian regimes aligned with our enemies, and supporting our friends – and then partnering with leaders and governments committed to those values. Democracy and respect for the rule of law were important to Trump because they helped produce the sort of stability which kept a lid on mass illegal migration. But there was a clear hierarchy of importance. Trump recognized that requiring the Guatemalan gendarme to allow journalists full access to their anti-drug raids was less important than whether they cooperated to advance core American interests. Perfect book-keeping by local law enforcement agencies was an aspiration when it came to U.S. aid, not a prerequisite without which all aid would be cut off. The Biden administration is willing to tell Latin American leaders what it does not want them to do, but not what it wants.

It is fitting then that the Summit of Americas was an empty event, news-worthy for its failures more than any achievements. It was a fitting representation of the entire Latin American policy of the current administration.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.


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Hal
1 month ago

Summits are as useless as mammary glands on a male hog! Their purpose is to feign that the participants are engaged in worthwhile governance. Political showboating is a more descriptive term for “Summits.”

Judith
1 month ago

What will all of these people who are leaving their countries do to the economy there? I would think that it could have a negative effect.

Enuf Said
1 month ago
Reply to  Judith

You can’t be serious!! A great deal of the ILLEGAL immigrants are young, crime ridden males. The effect will be to IMPROVE their economies as their economic drains will come here!!

Marie Langley
1 month ago

That is pathetic and hilarious at the same time that they didn’t show up. How embarrassing for America that he is such a loser. Also, some women’s forum that Kamala was supposed to speak at was postponed until the Fall because they couldn’t sell enough tickets. When are they going to get a clue that Americans and other countries just don’t like them???? They are clueless and a bunch of losers!!!!!!! Can’t wait for November!!!!!

Old Silk
1 month ago

Whenever the terms “summit” and “Democrat” appear anywhere near each other you can bet that it is a debacle in the making.

James J
1 month ago

it was all planned.. put a complete Moron puppet hair plug 50 year of a do Nothing Idiot Freak democrat into the Peoples House.. biden you are a wasted rotting skin bag of monkey pox flesh.. keep tripping up the stairs fool .. TRAITOR !!! You should be tried for TREASON and Sentenced

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  James J

Your Biden analysis was too nice!!!

James J
1 month ago
Reply to  Hal

I will try better next time. Thank you

Enuf Said
1 month ago
Reply to  Hal

Hunter says he will take a “SNORT” to that!!

BAE
1 month ago

Biden destroyed all the good policies of the previous Administration. He has no good policies for America. Mr. Biden is disgusting and the worse president the US of American has every known!!!

Mike B.
1 month ago

How can this administration get everything wrong ? All their policies are failing, yet they carry on like it’s all working out . What have they done right ? Can someone answer me this question? They’re so arrogant about it too . Harris : I’ll go for a photo opt, but get nothing accomplished. Our Vice President is just as bad as our President! How can these countries respect the USA , when our own citizens don’t? Every day they ~~~~ something up.

Becky
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike B.

Because they aren’t doing anything “wrong”. In their Communist minds.
Everything they are doing was planned in the late 1950s.
It isn’t wrong. It’s their Agenda.

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike B.

They get it wrong because they cater to the wishes and greed of fellow DemocRats and those who support them. They are not looking after the qualities and laws that allow a fair Constitutional governance for the people to live in and support. The DemocRats have the policy of Party first and skew everyone else as needed for success in doing that. More simply put the DemocRat Party has morphed long ago into a Communist Party. They seek to RULE … not just GOVERN. And to do that they must engage in illegal activities. And the main such activity is rigging elections and accepting bribes. The Constitutional Democracy we have flourished under will be crushed out of existence mostly because the DemocRat Party politicos have instituted actions which RULE the people, not provide Constitutional laws and support to maintain the intended scheme of Constitutional Democracy. The rein-in the DemocRat Party abuse of our present intended function of living under a Constitutional Democracy needs the 3 BIGGIE Actions: (1) Term limits for Congresspersons and Heads of Exec Branch Orgs such as IRS, FBI, CIA, etc.; (2) Balanced Budget Amendment with penalties to Congressmen when they fail to do it; (3) Fix the failed voting system which no longer represents the will of the people.

whatstrump
1 month ago

For what it’s worth, “Columbia” is a poetic name for the United States of America while “Colombia” is a nation in South America.

Spelling maters: if authors demonstrate a carelessness about spelling, readers may understandably question their commitment to getting other “details” in the article right.

Phebe
1 month ago
Reply to  whatstrump

I completely agree with you. Matters has two t’s, thogh.

BAE
1 month ago
Reply to  Phebe

Great. lol

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  Phebe

Yeah, I wondered who the “maters” were!!!!!! Maybe Chuck Shudder and Ninny Policy LOL

Tplorable
1 month ago

Nobody on the planet has respect for this bumblef**k in chief! For some he is just not Donald Trump and that’s all they care about. While he stumbles around his administration is ruining the country! Please, can we have the mean tweets back? It was a small price to pay to have things run way better!

Russ
1 month ago

Other world leaders don’t respect Biden any more than US citizens do. Why would they waste time meeting with a simple minded tool of the socialists trying to destroy America? They benefit from a strong America. Under Jo(k)e Biden we are not strong.

Grace
1 month ago

No country, left o tight has respect for Biden or trusts him.Therefor America is not respected. We have fallen from the top of the world to the dustbin of humanity, never to return. Why do I feel so hopeless and helpless? Because we are.. Thanks China Joe.

pete
1 month ago

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

John D. Beach
1 month ago

“In short, Biden’s Latin American policy is yet another area where a mixture of arrogance, pettiness, incompetence, and lack of vision has resulted in an approach that alienates everyone.”

I could not have said it better.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

All togather now. Nobody loves me,everybody hates me, guess I will go eat wormes, Kuyle L.

Judy K.
1 month ago

It is NOT the Biden Administration, it IS a treasonous Dictatorship. They are acting like Dictators, not leading in any fashion. Simply bullying everyone they disagree with or disagrees with them. They are devious but not intelligent as I see it. There are a number of people in this country with the brain capacity of a sloth, (not to insult sloths), but they are very slow to get the slightest sense of our current reality. The majority of us are not as stupid as these traitors believe. The longer Americans wait to act against this Dictatorship, the more they’ll hold our freedoms hostage. Burden is a joke, and we need to deliver the PUNCHLINE! If I were younger I’d be doing what I could as quietly as possible to wake people up….mainly with our new illegal visiters, I speak enough Spanish to be able to communicate to them what this government is really doing. I would also appeal to those who came here legally to help explain to the new entries. Just something I believe needs to be done.
This breaking of our immigration laws needs to backfire on them bigtime! Many of these people are not dumb, just poor and oppressed. Everyone wants free stuff, but they need to know who is really footing the bill and that it is doing to them what their own countries leaders were doing to them. I pray someone does something soon, and who knows, maybe they are…remember, I said I would do it quietly.

Veteran
1 month ago

We are living a bizarre mix of two dystopian movies, “1984” and “Idiocracy”. All we know for sure is that the Biden administration is globally for sale, and goes by one of the mantras from “Idiocracy”: “I like money!”

Tim Toroian
1 month ago
Reply to  Veteran

The average person doesn’t understand “1984” or “Animal Farm” and how scary they really are. Throw in “ThX 1138” with “Atlas Shrugged” to scare yourself and go prepper. And most people think “Running Man” is an action flick.

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  Veteran

I think you can add “One Flew Over the Coocoo Nest” to your pair. But in the case of the Biden administration that might be a compliment.

pkv
1 month ago

This cavalcade of clowns finally wormed their way to the center ring and unfortunately haven’t realized they have no magic act. The audience knows, but they don’t. And as one meme so truthfully stated, “For the First time in world history you can utter the phrase HE’S AN IDIOT, and the whole world knows immediately who you’re talking about.”

Bill on the Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  pkv

I must say, that is one hell of a concise statement pkv…
FJB, FBO, FKH, actually I wouldn’t touch her with a 10 ft. pole, FHRC, FBC, in fact, F**K the whole damn bunch of them!
Bill… :~)

James P.
1 month ago

Reminds me of the scene in 1963’s hilarious move, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World“, where the Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hacket characters are desperately trying to keep an airplane in the air while its pilot, a drunk and knocked-out Jim Backus, is rolling around in the back of the plane. Buddy has “his little hands” on the controls, white knuckles and all, while Mickey is trying to contact someone on the ground by radio begging for help. The tower asks, “Who’s flying the plane?!”. After a pause and yet another uncontrolled barrel roll, a deeply terrified Mickey Rooney glares over at his friend, Buddy Hacket, who is horribly failing at keeping the plane steady and level, and states emphatically to all who are listening,

NO ONE IS FLYING THE PLANE!!!

Absolutely hilarious movie. Sounds a lot like present day America. Unfortunately, the unprecedented level of SUCK oozing out of this so called “administration”, is putting a major damper on present-day reality.

Jim Halloran
1 month ago
Reply to  James P.

Great analogy, James P.

Rem
1 month ago
Reply to  James P.

James,
Great movie!!! Totally agree.
Also, “It’s all about the money.”

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  James P.

I think the USA political news publications, with a very few exceptions (e.g. Fox News, AMAC, etc.) are lurking in the background and blindly putting out “news” that is intended to be neutral instead of honest and complete. But their staffs and editors are so bought in to the DempcRats they are at a loss about the truth.

Michael
1 month ago

Biden is a total failure from start to finish. I hope the country can survive the rest of this bozo’s term.

Veteran
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Forget that, impeach the clown! He has done nothing but commit “high crimes and misdemeanors” since he began to usurp the White House.

Bill on the Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  Veteran

He will be impeached Veteran, shortly after the anticipated red wave in Nov…It won’t get him out of office in either case, unfortunately we are stuck with the ” demented one ” until Jan. of 2025 & they already know this because thus far, the Democrats have been writing the script from the start, sadly enough…In DC, the Dems own the courts, judges & the jurors, simply ask John Durham with respect to the acquittal of HRC’s campaign lawyer Sussman…He did in fact lie to the FBI, the jurors decided otherwise…
That court case was over before it ever began & I more than suspect Durham had already predicted this as well…
Bill… :~)

OKR
1 month ago

While in complete agreement with the content of the article, I would beg the author to check the spelling of the names of the Latin American presidents, and the countries he is referencing. When one sees these errors the facts seem to loose credibility.
Great job AMAC on calling a spade a spade.

Anita Wasemann
1 month ago
Reply to  OKR

Yes, they need to keep in mind that, unlike the current generation, we older Americans have been educated (even those of us without degrees).
Like my mother, I automatically mentally correct such errors and find them extremely distracting.
There’s no such thing as “good enough”.

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