The 2022 and ninth Summit of the Americas begins today in Los Angeles.
This year’s Summit has sparked controversy owing to the Biden administration’s exclusion of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba from the invite list. Led by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), numerous Latin American states, including Argentina, Bolivia and Honduras, have called for the inclusion of all regional countries. AMLO’s attendance at the event remains unclear. For a Summit that aims to focus at least in part on migration, the Mexican president’s absence would be notable and could jeopardize Washington’s efforts to secure ambitious commitments from Mexico and Central America to tackle heightened migration and regional corruption.
Overall, the invitation fiasco demonstrates the widening political chasm between Latin America and the US, the latter of which has focused heavily on Asia over the last decade. Faced with rising inflation at home and a war in Ukraine, the Biden administration is unlikely, at least in the medium term, to marshal the infrastructure and governance investments needed to reassert US influence in the region, which China has been courting with trade deals and no-strings-attached loans.
Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.