New World Order
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The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, skipped the recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The move was considered a snub against American leaders who convened the summit to tackle migration and other serious issues facing the Western Hemisphere, wrote Newsweek. Further undercutting the goals of the summit, the Central American countries that drive migration to the US – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – also bowed out.
López Obrador declined President Joe Biden’s invitation because the US barred Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from sending representatives to the summit, reported Reuters. López Obrador shares some of the leftist views of the leaders of those countries. “There cannot be a summit if all countries are not invited. Or there can be one but that is to continue with all politics of interventionism,” López Obrador told the Associated Press, alluding to the history of US policies in the region.
American officials cited undemocratic government and human rights violations in the countries banned from the meeting. Notably, Cuban and Venezuelan dissidents were at the Summit of the Americas to draw attention to those violations. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Cuban activists claimed that they would receive prison sentences if they staged similar demonstrations at home.
The incident highlighted how important shifts are occurring within Latin America. As the Washington Post editorial board explained, the region is now split between leftists like López Obrador and right-wing populists like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Simultaneously, gone are the Cold War days when Latin American leaders aspired to expand free trade and free elections on the American model. Now, they blame the American model for “economic inequality and government corruption.”
Still, the migration from the south to the north continues. In fact, the real estate market in Cuba is undergoing a fire sale as islanders pick up and leave amid a post-pandemic economic downturn that includes soaring inflation, reported National Public Radio. The US is also spending almost $2 billion to create jobs in Central America to prevent waves of impoverished people crossing the border in search of economic opportunities and basic services, Al Jazeera added.
The summit did accomplish something, namely, a deal that would change the approach in many nations to migration, noted the Wall Street Journal. The United States, Canada and more than a dozen Latin American nations agreed to the “Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection,” a non-binding agreement that will require Western Hemisphere countries to accept migrants either temporarily or permanently to help share the burden.
Meanwhile, as leaders met in Los Angeles, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to Agence France-Presse, Maduro arrived shortly after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia. Lavrov was in town to discuss Ukrainian grain shipments. It was not clear if Maduro and Lavrov met. Russia has threatened to send military detachments to Venezuela in response to NATO aiding Ukraine, the Hill wrote.
Meanwhile, the US has eased some sanctions to encourage the Venezuelan government to restart talks with the opposition and drive a wedge between the country and its ally, Russia, CNBC said.
The so-called New World is reordering itself.