Dinner was early Monday, American style, at one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, in the hands of the same family for almost 100 years. at the table of “The cholo” they saw each other enchiladas, tacos and many VIP guestswith US Vice President Kamala Harris at the head of a private meeting with businessmen and personalities involved in a strong initiative that was publicly launched just this Tuesday.
The deputy head of the White House revealed that there will be almost 2,000 million dollars in private investment directed to three Central American countries as part of the Joe Biden administration’s strategy to reduce immigration across the southern border.
The meeting in the restaurant served to celebrate the announcement of this initiative, which was launched within the framework of the IX Summit of the Americaswhich began on Monday with various civil and business forums.
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, arriving at the summit in Los Angeles. (AFP)
This Wednesday the leaders of the entire region begin to arrive (with some significant absences) to discuss various issues such as migration, climate change, democracy and post-pandemic recoveryamong others, until Friday.
The surroundings of the Convention Center in the center of the city are already cut off to traffic and this Tuesday workers can already be seen placing high iron fences for greater security of the region’s leaders who will land in Los Angeles starting Wednesday, among them Biden and Alberto Fernández.
The new private industry investments announced by Harris are directed especially at El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the three countries from where caravans of hundreds of thousands of people arrive to the United States through the border with Mexico, in a wave that has increased since Biden took office and that can complicate it in an election year.
With Tuesday’s announcement, the United States wants the private sector to generate jobs and economic growth in those countries that discourage migration to flee poverty, corruption and gang violence.
US Vice President Kamala Harris announces a multi-million dollar investment for the countries of Central America. (AP)
At the launch, Harris said that this new section is added to another previous one of his “Call for Action” program, which in total has already generated commitments for 3,200 million dollars.
Among the initiatives announced Tuesday by Harris are iInvestments from 10 leading US companiessuch as Gap, Millicom, Agroamérica, COATL, Millicom, Pantaleon, SanMar, Unifi, Visa and Yazaki, which will invest in different sectors.
Migration is one of the central issues of the Summit and the United States had encouraged the signing of a regional commitment in this regard.
But Biden suffered a severe setback when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not come to Los Angeles in protest because the White House excluded the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the list of invitees, considering that violate democratic principles.
But not only Mexico complicated Biden but also the presidents Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala; Xiomara Castro from Honduras and Nayib Bukele from El Salvador, who will not come to the continental event with various arguments.
An American official tried to minimize the impact of these absences, saying that they hoped to reach agreements with the representatives that the countries sent, even if they were of lower rank.
Harris is in charge of this initiative because she was nominated by Biden as special envoy to the Northern Triangle to solve this drama, but until now has not been very successful because the flow of migrants continues.
At the Summit, the Vice President also announced an empowerment program for Central American women aimed at connecting 1.4 million women to the financial system and the digital economy and training 500,000 women and girls in job skills.
He also announced a $50 million “Central American Service Corps” funded by the US Agency for International Development to offer paid community service jobs to young people.
Although it is estimated that the great debate at this Summit of the Americas will be the affront against democracy seen in several countries in the regioninvestments also have great prominence.
In fact, a parallel summit of CEOs of companies and ministers of Industry and Production was organized, a public and private sphere where trade, digital transformation, the inclusion of SMEs and investments for the continent are promoted.
In this forum – where managers of the most important companies participate with officials from the continent – is, for example, the Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay, Omar Paganini, who seeks to position his country as a center of innovation in Latin America .
as he knew Clarionthe minister promotes Uruguay with a series of competitive advantages in three areas: renewable energy, biotechnology and digital product development with creative technologies.
The official promotes the benefits of Uruguay in the forum where the former Argentine Production Minister Matías Kulfas should have been, who was displaced on Saturday and for now his replacement has not assumed.
Argentina also seeks to position itself in these areas. But in Uruguay they believe that their “great differential” with our country is stability. “Energy or biotechnology are areas where investments are large and very long-term. Stability is a great attraction for investors. The institutional context that Uruguay provides is very attractive,” the delegation told this correspondent.