The backyard, in the uncertainty | OP-ED
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For the United States, what happens on the continent is a factor that weighs on all sides. That the allies are stable, that the non-allies turn around, that the Chinese and Russians do not stick their noses in the continent. All impossible.
In the times of Trump, for example, flags were placed on the Peace Agreement in Colombia and rapprochements with Cuba were suspended, which achieved important points with Barack Obama.
The Democratic government of Joe Biden found a region with the worst socio-economic and political conditions. Inequality and discontent, in worse circumstances due to the impact of the pandemic and an uncertain electoral moment.
A recent study by the World Inequality Lab, of the Paris School of Economics and carried out by a hundred experts, ensures that 77% of the wealth in Latin America is in the hands of 10%. In contrast, 50% own just 1%.
Politically, the crisis is not minor. In El Salvador, for example, there is already strong criticism from Washington of President Nayib Bukele, the center of corruption scandals and with clearly authoritarian decisions. “I think many of Bukele’s actions are taking that country in a much more authoritarian direction than we saw in the early Hugo Chávez years,” Juan González, Joe Biden’s chief adviser for the Western Hemisphere, said recently.
Nicaragua, Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru, at least, are not in the vicinity of the White House. On December 19, Chile will decide between a candidate from the left and another with ties to the extreme right, a defender of the Pinochet dictatorship and the father linked to Nazi Germany.
And surely the group will grow in the coming months with the presidential elections in Brazil and Colombia. In the Colombian case, the distance between the United States Government and that of Iván Duque, whom Biden has evaded from any official meeting, is clear. Brazil is moving towards a drastic change in government after years lost in the hands of Jair Bolsonaro.
Very surely in 2022 a club of countries will be integrated in the style of the times in which the balance was tipped by Chávez, Lula, Fernández, Castro, Correa, Evo ...
But Latin America is just one more of the concerns that the United States has these days, especially for Biden and the Democrats, who see its internal image diluted and their relations with Europe stumble.