Blinken to Woo Latin America's New Leftist Leaders, Reassert U.S. Commitment

Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Latin America on Monday to reassert Washington's commitment to the region and meet with three new leftist leaders, amid concerns that neglect of the hemisphere has let China make economic inroads.

During his week-long trip to Colombia, Chile and Peru the top U.S. diplomat will also attend a ministerial summit and hold talks on regional challenges including migration, drug-trafficking, post-pandemic recovery, climate change and the Venezuelan crisis.

U.S. officials acknowledge privately the need to show the United States' southern neighbors they remain a policy priority despite the focus on big geopolitical issues such as Russia's war in Ukraine and China's threat to Taiwan.

Officials remain hopeful that Latin America's new leftist leaders will not govern as ideological firebrands and instead continue to maintain a free-enterprise-friendly approach and nurture U.S. ties.

"We are not judging countries based on where they fall on the political spectrum, but rather their commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights," Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols, the State Department's top diplomat on the Western Hemisphere, said in a briefing call.

"And I would note that we are also visiting three countries that have been longtime vital trade partners of the United States, countries with free trade agreements with the United States ... We are focused on strengthening our relations with those governments," Nichols said.

Source: Reuters
Blinken to Woo Latin America's New Leftist Leaders, Reassert U.S. Commitment Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Latin America on Monday to reassert Washington's commitment to the region and meet with three new leftist leaders, amid concerns that neglect of the hemisphere has let China make economic inroads. During his week-long trip to Colombia, Chile and Peru the top U.S. diplomat will also attend a ministerial summit and hold talks on regional challenges including migration, drug-trafficking, post-pandemic recovery, climate change and the Venezuelan crisis. U.S. officials acknowledge privately the need to show the United States' southern neighbors they remain a policy priority despite the focus on big geopolitical issues such as Russia's war in Ukraine and China's threat to Taiwan. Officials remain hopeful that Latin America's new leftist leaders will not govern as ideological firebrands and instead continue to maintain a free-enterprise-friendly approach and nurture U.S. ties. "We are not judging countries based on where they fall on the political spectrum, but rather their commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights," Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols, the State Department's top diplomat on the Western Hemisphere, said in a briefing call. "And I would note that we are also visiting three countries that have been longtime vital trade partners of the United States, countries with free trade agreements with the United States ... We are focused on strengthening our relations with those governments," Nichols said. Source: Reuters