'Our hemisphere' vs 'Nuestra America': US facing boycott from Latin neighbors

The US is about to host the Summit of the Americas, but not many neighboring countries are likely to attend

Report rise last week that the US would lift some sanctions on Venezuela, including those against at least one individual and the resumption of operations by US and European oil companies in Venezuela. . This news then confirmed by Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez.

The United States is expected to ease sanctions as a sign of goodwill after high-level talks took place in March, hoping to foster dialogue between the ruling government of President Nicolás Maduro and the rebels. US-backed opposition. The statements made by Vice President Rodríguez in response to this news show that the Venezuelan government intends to do exactly that, as well as to continue the dialogue at the international level.

This is without a doubt a positive step for Venezuela even if it has a lot to do with the US and its partners looking for any avenue to reduce crushing inflation. The illegal and criminal blockade of Venezuela has strangled the economy in a needless and inhumane way. For years, economic problems stemming from unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington have plagued the country and hurt ordinary people there – all aimed at overthrowing the Venezuelan government. democratically elected.

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However, Venezuela has managed to salvage the situation and, last year, posted positive economic growth and reduced inflation to a tolerable level after years of recession and soaring inflation. The fact that Caracas is able to do this without the benefits of normal trade relations with the West is no small feat and speaks to the reality that US sanctions are losing strength and Washington. is losing leverage.

This is precisely why the United States must continue to negotiate with Venezuela, ultimately lift all sanctions, and interact meaningfully with all of its neighbors – including Cuba and Nicaragua – in spite of these challenges. political disagreement. The United States must view its role in the Americas as that of an equal partner rather than relying on coercive actions to satisfy its political ambitions, for doing so will only isolate the United States in its immediate vicinity. mine.

Leaders in the region are paying attention to the changing global geopolitical landscape. For example, speaking in Cuba on May 9, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador summon about the United States ending ongoing sanctions on the Caribbean nation dating back to 1959. He, as before, called for a united US community similar to the European Union and near this. threatenedalong with about a dozen other leaders, will boycott the US-hosted Summit of the Americas next month because it excludes Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

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The Mexican president, commonly known as AMLO, also noted China’s rise as an opportunity for the region. The leaders of these countries want specific development plans and investment proposals – while the US seems to be only interested in domestic political interests such as illegal immigration and drug trafficking, actually has to do with America’s tumultuous foreign policy in the Americas. On the other hand, China is offering non-binding development projects and investments that are extremely attractive to these countries.

For Latin American and Caribbean leaders, Washington’s domestic concerns matter little. They want to provide security and prosperity to their region, which is the most basic function of any public servant. The political division of the region and the exclusion of certain countries from various forums designed to bring together the countries of the Americas failed to accomplish these basic goals. It actually does the opposite – and many leaders realize this.

For example, this is why there are growing calls to abolish the Organization of American States-Dominated States (OAS), which currently excludes Cuba and is contesting Venezuela’s membership. , and replace it with a more comprehensive organization. Some countries, including Mexico, is calling for a regional organization based primarily on economic cooperation to support regional development while marginalizing ideology. It’s hard to see, at this point, where the United States would fit into this picture.

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In order for the United States not to shrink into a corner in its neighborhood – which Washington officials have called ‘our hemisphere’ for nearly two centuries – it must seek partnerships with those countries, namely Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, with which they have distinct political differences. It must engage in serious and constructive dialogue that goes beyond narrow self-interest. One possible way to do this is to heed calls from regional leaders and invite Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to next month’s Summit of the Americas. Otherwise, it only reinforces the opposing concept of ‘nuestra America’, or ‘our America’, first coined by Cuban writer Jose Marti in his famous late 19th century book of the same name. He used it to describe opposition to Spanish rule – but the phrase has been re-used by Latin American socialists in modern times against Washington.

America has put itself at an impasse as to whether it can continue to oppose Latin America and the Caribbean, treating it as it has done since the Monroe Doctrine, as its playground – or risk being dislodged by the American community. blacklisted completely.

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