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Summit of the Americas Opens with Degraded Entertainment, Biden Fumbling Through Brief Speech

June 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Summit of the Americas opened officially last night with a grotesque entertainment show of loud rock music, bright strobe lights, and selected ritzy popular singers and dance groups performing “cultural” selections from the Americas with a group of children from Los Angeles used as props to demonstrate the city’s ethnic diversity. At least the Mexican mariachis used real instruments—violins and trumpets—as they presented their tonal music. It would have been meaningful to include some of the beautiful Ibero-American folkloric music or the wonderful classical children’s choruses and orchestras for which Venezuela is famous.

But this was just the beginning of the embarrassment. Following an unmemorable speech by Vice President Kamala Harris, an enfeebled Joe Biden took to the stage to speak briefly, extolling democracy as “the hallmark of our region” and the “essential ingredient to Americas’ futures.” At several points, he stumbled over words on the teleprompter, mistaking “inflammatory” for “inflationary.” Naturally, he blamed Vladimir Putin for global inflationary pressures due to his “brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine” which he claimed was a factor in the increased poverty that leads to greater migration flows.

Although Biden listed several initiatives the U.S. has put forward regarding cities, the Caribbean partnership on climate, and one on food security involving Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.S., Chile, and Mexico, the highlight of his speech was introducing the new Americas’ Partnership for Prosperity, billed as the vehicle that can transform the entire hemisphere, because “it’s grounded on the same core values that my administration is bringing to our own strong economic recovery.” Economic recovery?

The reality? The Americas Partnership is just another version of the recently presented Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and, like it, includes a lot of meaningless gibberish. It’s political, not economic, and in the context of the U.S.’s own impending economic “hurricane,” not to mention global economic breakdown, there’s nothing in it capable of addressing the Western Hemisphere’s profound problems. Its five “pillars” will purportedly 1) reinvigorate regional economic institutions through a “revamped” Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and its private investment arm, IDB Invest. The emphasis is on “unlocking substantial amounts of private sector financing investment”—forget about state sector money (that’s what China uses) or new credit institutions; 2) creating “more resilient supply chains,” which is aimed at reducing dependence on China; 3) innovation and cooperation in education, health, retirement, childcare, etc., financed by the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the IADB; 4) depopulation by promoting low-technology “clean energy” jobs, decarbonization, promoting more renewables as part of the energy grid; 5) and engaging in “sustainable and inclusive trade,” using existing free-trade agreements in the region as the foundation of this boondoggle.

What this plan does reflect is Washington’s delusion that it is presenting a viable alternative to China’s influence in the region and to the Belt and Road Initiative. Responding June 8 to a reporter who asked him whether the Economic Prosperity initiative could compete with what China is doing regionally—it is the first or second trading partner for most countries in the hemisphere—National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan boasted that, on top of all the new private sector financing, and the training of 500,000 workers, and mobilizing “hundreds of billions of dollars on food security,” when “you tally all that up and look at the practical impact of what the summit deliverables from the United States will mean for the Hemisphere, it is significantly more impactful on the actual lives and livelihoods of the people of this region than the kinds of extractive projects that China has been invested in.” He also promised that Biden will be discussing a global infrastructure partnership with regional leaders and will raise it again at the upcoming G7 meeting.

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