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Democracy is the “essential ingredient” for the Americas, says Biden at the opening of the Summit

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Photo Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

US President Joe Biden urged the leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean to unite and demonstrate that democracy “is the essential ingredient for the future,” opening the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, marred by a boycott of various leaders.

“Our region is large and diverse. We don’t always agree on everything but in a democracy we approach our disagreements with mutual respect and dialogue”, he said.

This summit is marked by the absence of some heads of state, particularly those of Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and Honduras.

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reproaches the White House for having excluded the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuelawhom Washington has not invited because it considers that they fail to meet democratic standards.

“Democracy is a hallmark of our region” as stated in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, said the president during the inauguration, marked by music and the participation of young people and children.

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Biden urged participants to unite “around bold ideas, ambitious actions, and showing our people that the incredible power of democracies provides concrete benefits and improves lives for all.”

“It is no longer just the question of what will the United States do for the Americas? The question is what can we achieve by working together as true partners with diverse abilities but with mutual and equal respect, recognizing both our individual sovereignty and our shared responsibilities,” he said.

Since arriving at the White House in January 2021, Biden has insisted that Latin America is not America’s backyard.

During the speech, he emphasized the announcement of a partnership of the Americas for economic prosperity in order to promote more inclusive growth in the region.

He also mentioned the Declaration on migration that he plans to adopt on Friday, with an “innovative” approach, he said, to manage the problem and share responsibility.

“It represents a mutual commitment to invest in regional solutions that enhance stability” and “increase opportunities for safe and orderly migration,” in addition to taking action against human trafficking.

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