The Ninth Summit of the Americas concluded in Los Angeles on June 10. The U.S.-hosted gathering was a marked illustration of deep regional division, rather than an opportunity to generate new progress in the development of the Americas. It showed just how inaudible Washington's messages are becoming in Latin America.
A very public row played out for weeks over Washington's invitee list snub of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela that often eclipsed real messaging. This ideology-driven approach raised an outcry in the region, with some Latin American leaders refusing to attend the summit altogether. The gathering was one of the most poorly attended ones since the Summit of the Americas first took place in 1994.
The decision by several countries to stay away from the southern California conference underscored the struggle to exert U.S. influence in a region that has become fractured politically and is struggling economically. The U.S. has, on more than one occasion, made empty promises to Latin American countries, intensifying the latter's distrust of the "American way." During this summit, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity and presented the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, but the rather underwhelming response from Latin American countries indicates they once again expect this summit's promises to result in nothing.
In the eyes of U.S. politicians, "the Americas" is "the America" of the United States, and the relationship between the latter and other countries in the region is not one of equality, but one of hierarchy—with the U.S. at the top of the pyramid.
Humanity is a community with a shared future for all. All countries, big or small, should be equal, and win-win cooperation is the trend of the times. However, the U.S. still allows the "America First" mentality to run wild, a fact which sooner or later might come back to haunt this nation.