How Joe Biden’s Administration Can Change US Policies Towards Latin America
Four years after being shaken by Donald Trump‘s arrival into power, the policy of the United States towards Latin America will again take a sharp turn with the triumph of Joe Biden in the elections.
The victory of the leader of the Democratic Party translates into a possible unfreezing of relations with Cuba, a change in immigration policies, and a more structural and sensitive look at issues such as the peace process in Colombia and tensions with Venezuela. Besides, it will ease the immigration policies that have been implemented under the Trump Administration.
Indeed, the profound differences between Biden and Trump on how to conduct foreign relations emerge clearly in their approaches to the region.
Trump prioritized almost exclusively cutting migration from Latin America to the US. Meanwhile, Biden proposes increasing continental cooperation on problems such as violence and poverty.
The president-elect has also raised the importance of other issues on the rise, including human rights, the environment, and corruption. It will test Washington’s link with countries such as Mexico or Brazil, according to experts.
The Venezuelan Crisis
While the Venezuela crisis is expected to remain a hot topic, Biden may change Trump’s strategy.
Beyond Mexico and Central America, Venezuela has long been the primary headache of the US. Biden’s strategy against the Maduro regime and his allies (Cuba and Nicaragua) could present friendlier outlines. Still, he will seek to keep the pressure high, albeit with diplomatic tools other than Trump’s verbal excesses. The Democratic Administration will be firm and strict with these governments, seeking their democratization. His arrival at the White House will imply a new approach. He has offered Venezuelan immigrants Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Biden’s position on Venezuela will not turn 180 degrees. It will neither recognize Maduro’s legitimacy nor lift sanctions. Luis Vicente Leon, the executive director at Datanalisis, points out that Biden will end the failed strategy focused on sanctions, isolation, and provocative speeches. He will open up more opportunities to pressure an intelligent negotiation capable of generating real opportunities for change.
The relationship with Cuba is one of the great unknowns of the new Administration. Will he try to recover Obama’s policy, or will he be more cautious? Biden believes that the previous government has done nothing to promote democracy and human rights in the country. On the contrary, the repression against Cubans by the regime has worsened. He has proposed to reverse the limitation of remittances to Cuban families. Biden stated that he plans to follow a policy that promotes the interests and empowers the Cuban people to determine their future freely.
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