Biden: My vision for the Americas is “light years” from Trump’s

Los Angeles, Jun 9 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Thursday said that his administration’s proposals for the Americas are “light years” from those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

He said that the US wants to discuss its proposals with other hemispheric leaders and that he believes that the proposals by the current Democratic administration are “light years” from what the region saw under the prior Republican government.

Biden made his remarks in his speech to the first plenary meeting of the 9th Summit of the Americas, which will run until Friday in Los Angeles.

Shortly before addressing the assembled heads of government and top officials from most nations in the hemisphere, Biden was asked by reporters if he was concerned about the boycott of the Summit being staged by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Honduran President Xiomara Castro and Bolivian president Luis Arce, and he responded with a categorical “No.”

It was the only reference the US leader made to those absences from the Summit, which the leaders in question are making in protest over the host country’s decision not to invite Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua arguing that these nations do not uphold the democratic values of the regional conclave.

As he did in his speech at the inauguration of the Summit on Wednesday, Biden once again focused his remarks on the idea that the Americas should be the world’s “most democratic hemisphere.”

He acknowledged that the challenges confronting the Americas have changed over the past decade from when he served for eight years as vice president and then-President Barack Obama asked him to take charge of US relations with Latin America.

“(Over) the next few days, we have an opportunity to find ways we can do better for all of our people by working together – and I emphasize together, together. That’s what our people expect of us. And it’s our duty to show them the power of democracies to deliver when democracies work together,” Biden said.

Specifically, he emphasized that a “sense of urgency” must be placed on the climate change crisis, above all in the Caribbean, the local leaders from which just met in Los Angeles.

Biden said that it doesn’t matter what’s happening elsewhere in the world, the Americas will always be “the priority” for the United States, although it is a fact that a year-and-a-half into his presidency he still has not traveled to any of the nations in Latin America.

Shortly thereafter, Biden attentively listened to the speech by Belize Prime Minister John Briceño, who called it “inexcusable”and “incomprehensible” that the US had not invited Cuba, Venezuela and Nicragua to the Summit.

EFE llb/rg/bp

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