Summit of the Americas beginning today in Los Angeles and President Biden and Vice-President Harris are expected to attend.
The Summit of the Americas begins Monday in Los Angeles, which will be the first gathering of leaders from North, Central and South America in nine years. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will both attend the week’s events, although the White House has offered few details about the agenda or who will be invited leading up to the summit. U.S. leaders and others from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean are expected to explore economic relationships and general goals for the Western Hemisphere, with discussions covering democracy, clean energy, politics, migration and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States is hosting for the first time since the summit began in Miami in 1994 with President Bill Clinton. This year’s gathering has been the center of some controversy due to alleged plans to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, countries seen as nondemocratic regimes, which resulted in the leaders of other countries threatening to stay away. The summit will help indicate how far the White House plans to go in assisting nations where decades of inequality and corruption, along with the toll of the pandemic, have fueled waves of popular discontent among neighboring nations.
“This will be the measure of U.S. commitment to Latin America for years to come,” said Benjamin Gedan, a former White House official who serves as acting director of the Wilson Center’s Latin America program.