Twenty American countries, including the United States, Mexico and several Central American countries, joined this Friday in a declaration with concrete commitments to contain the migration crisis in the region.
The act of signing the document was chaired by the US President, Joe Bidenon the last day of the IX Summit of the Americas, which brings together leaders from across the continent in Los Angeles (USA).
“No nation should bear this responsibility alone”said Biden, who pointed out that not only is irregular migration to the United States increasing, but that “millions” of Venezuelans have arrived in Colombia and that migrants now represent “10% of the population of Costa Rica”.
To alleviate the pressure generated by these flows, the signatory countries have pledged – among other things – to expand the possibilities for legal migration to contain the influx of undocumented immigrants at the ever-increasing southern border of the United States. “We need to stop the dangerous and illegal ways people are migrating. Illegal migration is not acceptable and we will secure our borders,” Biden said.
The United States has promised to increase its quota of refugees from the Americas to 20,000 by 2023 and 2024with a particular priority for those from Haiti, as well as to continue to accept temporary non-agricultural workers from Central America and to prevent “abuse” in their hiring.
The declaration was signed by the United States, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
Among those who have not signed it are three countries of origin of many undocumented migrants crossing the continent: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, whom the government of the United States has decided not to invite to the Summit of the Americas, considering that they are not democratic.
Biden particularly thanked the commitments made by Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Spain, countries that participated in the summit as an observer.represented by the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela.
Spain has pledged to “double” the number of legal channels for Honduran workers to participate in Spanish circular migration programsaccording to the White House.
The Ecuadorian president also intervened in the act, Guillaume Lasso, who stressed the need to promote “an integral development agenda centered on the human being”. And he underlined: “There is an urgent need to promote development opportunities in countries of origin, on the one hand, and on the other hand, to promote actions to identify and dismantle the international mafias that control irregular migration” .
Second plenary session
On Friday in Los Angeles, California, the Second Plenary Session of the Summit of the Americas, in which the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and other leaders of the Western Hemisphere are to present what is presented as a roadmap for countries hosting large numbers of migrants and refugees.
President Jair Bolsonaro devoted a good part of his 15-minute speech to the environmental issuea subject that the United States has put on the agenda of the continental meeting being held this week in Los Angeles.
The agent defended his country’s environmental policy and responded to accusations that he was promoting the dismantling of the world’s main lung by ensuring that “You don’t need Amazon to grow agribusiness”
The president also referred to British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Araújo Pereira, missing since Sunday in a remote region of the Brazilian Amazon, which has civil society groups, environmentalists and leaders in suspense. Brazilian policies.
“The most precious good for human beings is freedom of expression, work and worship,” Bolsonaro also said, adding: “We are a government that believes in God, embraces life from conception, and defends the family.”
I also leave a message to Alberto Fernández, the Argentine President, who spoke at the summit on Thursday. Bolsonaro was willing to buy gas from Vaca Muerta when it becomes available, but made it clear that in the meantime he would continue to buy from Bolivia.
Ultimately, The Brazilian described as “simply fantastic” the bilateral meeting he had this Thursday with Joe Biden and pointed out that they were able to “converse a meter away and without a mask for half an hour”
In turn, the Chilean President Gabriel Boric questioned the absence of the presidents of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, saying: “Here we should all be and we are not all”.
“I don’t like the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua because it would be different to demand from their presence the urgent need for the release of political prisoners of NIcaragua and ask for an end once and for all to the unjust and unfortunate blockade of the United States against Cuba”, he expressed from the podium.
Furthermore, he referred to the financial situation in Latin America and said: “We must put an end to tax havens, we must not attract investors because of job insecurity and suicidal competition for tax cuts.”
Colombian President Iván Duque, on the contrary, categorically defended that the regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were not invited. and said: “These summits have had as their system the unrestricted defense of democracy. The Quebec clause stipulates that any alteration or breakdown of the constitutional order is an irreparable obstacle to participation. Here there are no ideological exclusions, here there is a categorical refusal of any form of dictatorship”.
”Our region is not divided between left and right, between liberals and conservatives, but between those of us who are democrats and those who are autocrats,” expressed differentiating from Maduro, Ortega and Díaz Canel.
“We must defend democracy at all times against autocrats. Some of them came to power together with democracy, then turned them into “dictocracies” and finally dictatorships.”
In addition, Duque praised OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro for “unrestricted defense of the hemispheric democratic charter”. “We cannot remain silent in the face of the dictatorships that overwhelm Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, silence makes us accomplices.”
During the first plenary session in the imposing Los Angeles Convention Center, the heads of state of the continent who temporarily occupy the presidency of certain regional blocs presented some commonalities but also some disagreement powerful differences that explain how difficult it is to reach a lasting consensus in an extremely unequal continent.
“Together”, “Unity”, “Economic development” and “overcoming inequalities” and the need to do it “soon”, “urgent” if possible, were concepts that were repeated in speeches by Joe Biden (host) , Johnny Briceño (Prime Minister of Belize and President of CARICOM), Laurentino Cortizo (Panama and SICA), Mario Abdo (Paraguay and Mercosur), Alberto Fernández (Argentina and CELAC) and Antonio Guterres (UN).
But it soon became clear that unity and haste do not apply to the same objectives.
Biden offered “working together to demonstrate the power of democracy,” presented its funding proposals for economic development, improving access to health care and the transition to renewable energy while tackling the immigration challenge “jointly”. “No matter what happens in the world, America will always be a priority for the United States,” said the President of the United States.
But moments later, the Heads of State of Belize and Argentina they went out in defense of the dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela and they harshly questioned Biden about the White House’s decision to exclude Miguel Díaz-Canel, Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega from the Summit.
With information from EFE