Erol Yayboke, Rafael de la Cruz, Osmel Manzano
Moises Rendon sits down with CSIS Senior Advisor Ambassador William Brownfield, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, and Colombia. They discuss developments in these three countries considering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chile’s constitutional referendum, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities for the region. Ambassador Brownfield outlines his policy recommendations for the Biden administration in its efforts to engage the region going forward.
The COVID-19 pandemic struck Latin America in late February 2020. Governments in the region had time to adopt public health strategies, economic rescue plans, and policies to protect millions of informal and vulnerable workers throughout the region, but institutional weakness hampered their efforts.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers a pre-Thanksgiving speech at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 25, 2020.
With president-elect Joseph Biden so well versed and well traveled in Latin America, optimism about the future course of U.S. relations with its southern neighbors is running high. But in diplomacy as in finance, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Momentous shifts in Latin America, never mind four years of malign neglect by the U.S., will make it all but impossible for a Biden administration to pick up where the Obama administration left off. What’s needed is a new approach that tackles the current health and migration crises, transforms the traditional U.S. promotion of democracy, security and trade, and incorporates Latin American nations into the broader global foreign policy agenda.