Mexico and other countries on the continent, key players with Haiti in immigration to the United States, did not send their leaders to this summit, but a White House official said she expected broad support for this summit. “Los Angeles Declaration” dedicated to migration.
The document must formalize many agreements already in place, at a time when the United States is facing an increase in immigration, a highly political subject for the American president.
With this declaration, Washington asks its partners to “guard their borders more effectively”, to identify “people who are not eligible” for the right of asylum and to strengthen their procedures on this subject, indicated a high head of the US executive.
“All of our countries have been affected by unprecedented migration, and I think it’s our responsibility to address this issue,” Joe Biden said Thursday in Los Angeles, where tensions between Washington and the countries of Latin America have been brought to light.
– “Almost total agreement” –
Faced with his counterparts, the Democratic President thus experienced a real moment of diplomatic embarrassment when the Prime Minister of Belize and then the Argentine President criticized him, in the middle of the event’s plenary session, and while he was seated a few meters.
“It is inexcusable that all the countries of the Americas are not here”, declared the Prime Minister of Belize John Briceno, taking in particular the defense of Cuba and Venezuela which, like Nicaragua, were not invited by the UNITED STATES.
Despite these disagreements over the list of participants, which have already led Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador to shun the summit, “on substantive issues, what I heard was almost unity and uniformity” , yet assured Joe Biden.
The American president notably pointed to “almost total agreement” on subjects such as the fight against climate change or the management of immigration.
But, on this last point, a senior White House official clarified that American diplomacy did not “expect all the countries (of Latin America present at the summit) to sign” the “Los Angeles Declaration”. .
According to this official, who did not wish to be identified, the agreement should lay down the principle of “shared responsibility” in the face of immigration, but did not, however, give many details.
– Bolsonaro and democracy –
The issue of immigration is very delicate politically for Joe Biden.
The Republican opposition charges him with laxity, while on the left he is criticized for not having implemented, as he had promised, a more humane immigration policy than that of his predecessor Donald Trump.
But the impact of Friday’s statement in the United States is uncertain without the presence of the president of Mexico, where thousands of immigrants arrive every day.
Thursday, Joe Biden spoke for the first time with his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, with whom there is no shortage of friction topics.
The 79-year-old Democrat struck a conciliatory tone, calling Brazil a “vibrant” democracy with “solid” institutions and hailing the country’s “sacrifices” to protect the Amazon rainforest.
Jair Bolsonaro assured him that he had “a lot of points in common” with the American president, for example that of being “democrats” attached to “freedom”.
But the far-right president, again this week, publicly questioned the validity of his American counterpart’s victory and also regularly attacks his own country’s electoral system. As if he was already preparing to challenge a defeat, while he seeks a new mandate, which worries Washington.
The very organization of the Summit of the Americas, the second to take place in the United States since the first edition in 1994, therefore showed that the question of what democracy is, and the means of defending it, did not enjoy a consensus in regional level.
The Biden administration nonetheless hopes to relaunch dialogue with a region that has not so far been at the top of its diplomatic priorities, and where China is advancing its pawns.