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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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June 20, 2022

     The Summit of the Americas should have been an opportunity for the US government to get together with its neighbors to find effective solutions to immigration and security challenges. Instead, even the leftist Salvadoran outlet El Faro noted the meeting shaped up to be another foreign-policy and domestic catastrophe for the Biden team. Biden has caused a big mess.

     Four of the Latin American countries responsible for 90% of immigration flow into the United States — Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — did not send their heads of state, a slap in the administration’s face. This also means the open-border migration crisis that has led to recent security predicaments — such as a Hezbollah cell member’s attempt to smuggle in ISIS terrorists to assassinate former President George W. Bush — will remain unaddressed.

     President Joe Biden has no one but himself to blame for the distinct possibility one of the signature events for US “near abroad” policy will flop. This is due to a mixture of mismanagement and destructive ideology. Honduras and Mexico are following the Cuba-Venezuela-Nicaragua alliance, which would much rather deal with Iran, China and Russia. Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are boycotting the summit — and then Biden excluded them — despite Biden’s recent efforts to normalize business and tourist relations with Cuba and lift energy sanctions from the Maduro regime.

     El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele and Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei are staying away thanks to the Biden’s administration’s persecution of their respective governments.  El Salvador’s cooperation was essential in pursuing policies that would cut down on illegal migration from that country to America. Bukele had worked closely with the Trump administration on securing the borders from the brutal MS-13 gang, which is now one of the many violent organizations in El Salvador facing arrests, trials and likely imprisonment for their crimes. Guatemala, too, proved a crucial partner on domestic and foreign security concerns. But as soon as Biden took office, he placed government officials in these countries on the US corruption list and started campaigns against their heads of state, particularly Bukele, accusing him of human-rights abuses and secret negotiations with MS-13 and other gangs.

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