Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, adviser to Joe Biden, took stock of the White House after the Summit of the Americas: food, migration and the crisis in Ecuador

After the controversy generated by the exclusions of the dictatorships of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, the Summit of the Americas was finally held in the city of Los Angeles, between Monday June 6 and Friday June 10. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former Democratic congressman, served as a special adviser to President Joe Biden for the historic Summit. In dialogue with infobae, The official analyzed the main issues addressed during the event and highlighted the commitments assumed jointly by the United States and the rest of the countries of the region to face the main challenges, among which she highlighted the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, public health, climate change and the growing migratory flow.

Despite some criticism for the absence of the dictators Nicolás Maduro, Miguel Díaz-Canel and Daniel Ortegathe Ecuadorian-American official assured that the summit “it was a success”: “We reinforce the commitment to be able to work together and form a united alliance to be able to address the most difficult issues we are facing.”

Mucarsel-Powell considered that it is a “priority” to assist the countries of the region, especially those in the Caribbean, which have been affected by the food crisis caused by Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

In this regard, he indicated that the United States assumed the commitment to “send more than 40 million in resources to help and assist” to the Caribbean countries due to the lack of food. He also commented that within the framework of the Los Angeles Summit also the formation of a committee with the aim of creating supplies, especially fertilizers, was agreed upon.

“Ukraine and Russia export the highest level of fertilizers for the entire region and it is a problem that is affecting access to food for citizens of the Caribbean and other Latin American countries. Countries in South America offered to see how they could produce more fertilizer, countries like Ecuador, for example. It is a priority issue, but the good thing is that President Biden and Vice President Harris have immediately had this conversion with these countries, and they formed a committee so that in the coming weeks they can have access to fertilizers and food “said the former congresswoman for the state of Florida.

Several countries in the region, particularly those in the Caribbean, are affected by the serious food crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The coronavirus pandemic affected the entire world. But in particular to the less developed countries, where inequalities were even more exposed. Within the framework of the Summit, regional nations agreed to redouble efforts to “rebuild” their economies. At the same time, they agreed on the need to prepare in advance in order to face similar threats in the future. For this reason, the region will invest resources “to train 500,000 health professionals in the next five years in order to rebuild the public health infrastructure.”

“We have to strengthen these systems so that we can be ready for the next pandemic. Many scientists think this is not the end.”pointed out the presidential adviser.

Another of the challenges addressed during the Summit of the Americas was the fight against climate change, one of the main concerns at the global level. Mucarsel-Powell indicated that there were investment commitments for more than 50,000 million dollars “in this infrastructure to be able to have resilient communities for these climate changes.” In this sense, he acknowledged that there were positive conversations with the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, “to stop the deforestation that has affected the Amazon”: “We have seen a compromise.”

On the last day of the Summit, twenty American countries, including the United States, Mexico and several Central American nations, joined in a joint declaration with concrete commitments to contain the migration crisis in the region.

This alliance, commented the North American official, “It will strengthen collaboration between all countries to see how we can have guidelines to have a legal process for migration, how we can invest resources to support countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, which have received thousands of migrants from Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba”.

At the Summit of the Americas, the countries of the region pledged to redouble their efforts to address the migration crisis (EFE/Mario Caicedo)
At the Summit of the Americas, the countries of the region pledged to redouble their efforts to address the migration crisis (EFE/Mario Caicedo) (Mario Caicedo Mario Caicedo/)

He warned, for his part, that this problem not only affects the United States on the border, “but also other countries” in the region, and considered that this crisis must be addressed “from a humanitarian point of view”: “We have to invest in economic and social systems so that migrants do not have to leave those countries, escaping political violence, persecution, also due to lack of access to food.”

“We have to talk to other countries so that these migrants who enter countries like Colombia, Panama, they can stay legally, have legal status, so they can have access to public health services, access to the labor sector”he added.

Despite the controversies surrounding the absences of the dictatorships of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, Mucarsel-Powell valued and highlighted the meetings he held within the framework of the Summit with different civil society groups from those countries who, he noted,they are asking for support for the human rights of their citizens.”

The former congresswoman recalled that almost a year after the massive protests that began on July 11, Cuba continues to have political prisoners. Since then, Washington redoubled its efforts to assist the Cuban people. The official highlighted the sending of economic resources through USAID “to support community organizations that are helping these groups in the defense of human rights.”

“It is extremely important that we understand, not only here in the United States, but also in all countries, what is happening in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. These governments have violated human rights, they have been intimidating independent journalists, who are exposing what is happening with these governments. We have also had conversations with members of the press, and we discussed how we can support independent journalists so that they can continue to do the work that is so important and critical at the heart of democracies; to be able to have reports on what the heads of state are doing, the people who are part of the governments, and the transparency that we need for good governance, ”he warned.

Venezuela and Ecuador, in the sights of the Biden government

Asked about the recent trip of US officials to Caracas to resume talks with the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, the former Democratic congresswoman clarified that “President Biden’s position has not changed.”

The presidential adviser reiterated that Washington continues to recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuelawhile supporting “the dialogue between Maduro and the opposition so that they can reach an agreement and have free and transparent elections.

“Only in this way can we reinforce this commitment that I mentioned before, the commitment to protect democracy and also the institutions that are so key to democracy, including the separation of powers. That’s why The United States is doing everything possible to support this dialogue, and we hope that Maduro can come to the table with members of the opposition in good faith so that we can have a step towards free and transparent elections.”Mucarsel-Powell said.

Lastly, he also referred to the current crisis that the Government of Ecuador is going through, the country in which the North American official was born, in the face of protests by indigenous groups.

As indicated, The White House closely follows what is happening and supports President Guillermo Lasso “in trying to have a dialogue with the people who are protesting, who are asking for a little relief from the economic crisis that has been faced, not only in Ecuador but in other countries as well.

“At the same time respecting the right of citizens to have peaceful protests. We are following the protests, hoping that they are not causing any kind of violence. We will always denounce violence, whether it comes from citizens or members of the police. It is a sensitive issue and we hope that they can reach an agreement so that they can stop the protests and find a solution to the issues of the economic crisis”, he concluded.

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