LatinNews Daily - 09 June 2022

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CUBA: Díaz-Canel slams US over migration as Biden addresses SoA

On 8 June Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel accused the US of stimulating irregular migration through its policy on Cuba and the “economic war” waged on the island.


President Díaz-Canel’s familiar anti-US rhetoric coincided with an address to the Summit of the Americas (SoA), which the US is hosting from 6-10 June, by US President Joe Biden. The US government’s decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from SoA, which led other regional leaders such as Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to attend, has overshadowed the event, which was intended to underline US re-engagement with the region and in which migration is expected to be a key topic.

  • Cuban migration to the US has surged in recent months. This recently prompted the first bilateral migration talks since 2018 and was widely believed to be behind the US’s decision announced last month to ease restrictions on travel and remittances.
  • Biden said yesterday that a Summit declaration on migration would be issued tomorrow (10 June) which he described as a “ground-breaking, integrated new approach to managing migration and sharing responsibility,” although he provided few specifics.
  • As part of efforts to counter China’s growing clout in the region – a clear objective for the US – President Biden yesterday unveiled a new economic plan, entitled the “Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity”. With the details yet to be fleshed out, key areas of focus are: reinvigorating regional economic institutions and mobilising investment; creating resilient supply chains; broadening participation in the formal economy; creating clean energy jobs and advancing decarbonisation and biodiversity protection; and ensuring sustainable and inclusive trade.
  • Other initiatives that the US administration has announced in relation to the Summit include US$331m in new funding for food security and humanitarian assistance in the Americas; a programme to train 500,000 health workers in the Americas over the next five years; and a new Caribbean climate partnership that will help Caribbean countries access low-carbon energy sources.

Looking Ahead: One test for President Biden in relation to getting regional leaders onside is likely to come today (9 June) when he is expected to meet Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro for a bilateral meeting. Bolsonaro publicly supported former US president Donald Trump (2017-2021) in the 2020 US elections and he and Biden disagree on protection of the Amazon among a range of other issues.

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