Biden and the “new normal” in Latin America

Joe Biden, the newly elected US president, will have to face a new and changing Latin American landscape, very different from the one Donald Trump created over the past four years.


Joe Biden. Photo by Gage Skidmore. License Creative Commons

Even though diplomatic media in countries from Latin America and the Caribbean expressed some relief over the defeat of the Republican representative, the policies of a future Biden administration towards the region are unknown.

The analysts assure us that the White House has other priorities, such as the urgent confrontation of the Covid-19 pandemic, its effects on employment and national economy, and the US political and social polarisations, aside from the wrongs towards its allies and other powers.

Few believe that the problems of Latin America and the Caribbean would suddenly take precedence in Washington, but they may receive different treatment than that of Trump’s quadrennium and Luis Almagro’s Organisation of American States (OAS).

This difficult year for everyone will force Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, to refocus and, eventually, change their policy towards a Latin America in crisis and constant transformation.

With the open support from Washington and the OAS, Bolivia, for example, the subject of a vicious coup d’état last year, has just regained democracy in transparent elections, with president Luis Arce and the vice president David Choquehuanca, colleagues of Evo Morales, the popular indigenous leader and former president.

The Alberto and Cristina Fernández formula also introduced a very important change in Argentina, by winning at the polls to face the main neoliberalism destruction of the defeated Mauricio Macri.

In 2020, there were also changes in government in the Caribbean nations of the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname and St. Kitts and Nevis. There will also be elections in Ecuador (February), Peru (April), and Nicaragua and Chile (November).

Later, in 2022, there will be presidential elections in Colombia, to replace Iván Duque, and in Brazil, where the far-right Jair Bolsonaro can still opt for a second term.

Basically, from now until 2024, all the Latin American countries would have to elect or renew their heads of states, as well as have partial elections in Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico and Argentina.

In what’s left of 2020, Venezuela, constantly harassed by the Trump administration and the OAS, will hold parliamentary elections in December.

And in Chile, the recent constitutional referendum will allow for the burial, next April, of the Magna Carta established by the dictator Augusto Pinochet and maintained until now by several civilian governments.

At the same time, the region is still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and a deep economic and social crisis.

Cuba’s policy has been to resist the economic, commercial and financial blockade from the US for the past six decades which worsened during the Trump administration. Biden has called that policy a total failure, while announcing a new approach towards the island. (PL)

(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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