As host of the IX Summit of the Americas, the President of the United States welcomed his guests in Los Angeles with the certainty that “cooperationa common purpose and transformative ideas” as before.
Given the controversy generated before the start of one of the most important events for the 35 nations of the entire continent, without three of them present (Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela) for lack of invitation and another half dozen due to last minute cancellation as a protest measurePresident Biden wanted to emphasize that “democracy is a hallmark of our region.”
This is made clear by the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which emerged from the III Summit of the Americasand that according to the US president “captures our unique commitment to democracy as a region, affirms the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and our obligation as governments to promote and defend democracy,” he stressed.
President Biden believes that while democracy “is under attack around the world,” it is also “an essential ingredient for the future of the Americas” and he acknowledged that “we don’t always agree on everything, but since we are democracies we will overcome our disagreements with mutual respect and dialogue.”
In addition to Biden’s opening speech as host of the IX Summit of the Americas focused on the values of democracy, the agenda of the president of the United States reserved space to hold other meetings of great importance for his Administration.
Several bilateral meetings took place in Los Angeles, taking advantage of the face-to-face meeting with other leaders of the continent. The first of them with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, with whom, in addition to being a border neighbor, Biden maintains one of the closest bilateral relations of his presidency.
From the Convention Center in the city of Los Angeles, the second most populous in the country, the US president’s agenda with his Canadian counterpart included “discussing how to strengthen joint cooperation in economic development, the pandemic, migration” and other issues. central to the conversation, as announced by the White House through a statement.
Another of Biden’s bilateral meetings, atypical and uncomfortable although convenient for the image of both, is the one planned with his Brazilian counterpart. After the sit-in by the president of Mexico, it was believed that Jair Bolsonaro would also cancel his attendance at the Summit, but the president of the United States, on the contrary, managed to convince him to keep it.
The long-awaited meeting between Biden and Bolsonaro, a former Trump ally known for his controversial populist policies, was produced by the self-interest of both leaders, as a result of the approach of the host of the Summit. The president of the United States needed to reinforce his image as a promoter of regional unity and democratic values to try to restore his leadership in the hemisphere at the same time; while the president of Brazil, who is facing a tough national campaign for his re-election, took advantage of his meeting with one of the most powerful men in the world to make clean slate and obtain benefits in exchange for improving their relationships.
Already in the afternoon, President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris were scheduled to meet with the leaders of the Caribbean nations “to deepen the partnership with the United States and the Caribbean”, based on the virtual meeting they held on April 29 , as well as announcing the launch of a new association, led by the vice president of the United States “to address the climate crisis.”
Kamala Harris already announced on Tuesday this week some key investments from private sector companies over the next few years worth $1.9 billion. Furthermore, among the decisions that could be announced in the IX Summit of the Americas The United States was also expected to propose reforms to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to encourage more private investment in the region and combat food aid with an investment of nearly 300 million dollars for that purpose.
The President of the United States and the First Lady, who presided over the opening ceremony of the IX Summit of the Americas Tuesday night with Biden’s keynote address, they also welcomed heads of state and government from the region and their spouses to dinner at Getty Villa (Los Angeles) on Thursday night.
On Friday, still in California, Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech from the Port of Los Angeles and meet with leaders of the Summit of the Americas during a retreat and working lunch. Following this meeting with the heads of state and government, the President of the United States will also participate in two Democratic National Committee fundraising receptions before traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to receive first-hand information from the state and local authorities, as well as health and emergency personnel, about wildfires.