World leaders from North, Central, and South America are flocking to Los Angeles for the ninth edition of the Summit of the Americas.
Well, not all of them. The U.S. didn’t invite Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — due to the fact that these countries are ruled by authoritarian regimes.
But the stance adopted by Washington triggered a series of boycotts that will certainly undermine the end result of what could be an important venue for discussions around migration, the environment, and trade. And might prevent its main goal from being achieved: a push to increase U.S. influence in Latin America against efforts from China and Russia.
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- Oliver Stuenkel is a Foreign Relations professor at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas. He wrote “The BRICS and the Future of Global Order” (2015) and “Post-Western World: How Emerging Powers Are Remaking Global Order” (2016). He writes a monthly column on The Brazilian Report.
Background reading on the Summit of the Americas:
- Read Oliver Stuenkel’s debut column with us, about how “Latin America’s anti-incumbency sentiment shows no sign of abating.”
- President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil only RSVP-ed to the Summit of the Americas after the U.S. government guaranteed he would have the opportunity of a one-on-one meeting with his American counterpart, Joe Biden.
- Since the organization of the summit began gaining traction, countries across the continent showed their discontent with how the U.S. has handled the event, as Ignacio Portes explained on May 13.
- Latin America’s diminished dependence on Washington and the White House’s bungled organization of the summit in Los Angeles could prevent the U.S. from using the gathering to assert American influence in the region.
- Some leaders have arrived in Los Angeles. Mr. Bolsonaro will only land in California on Thursday, the day he meets with Mr. Biden.
- A 2020 Gallup poll shows that approval for U.S. global leadership has waned in South America.
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