After opting for prudence throughout a week of counting the votes, several Latin American political leaders reacted this Saturday with a wave of congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris after the definition in favor of the elections in the United States. They agreed to recognize him as the "next president" regardless of the fact that Donald Trump has not yet accepted defeat. This was done by the leaders who have been more aligned with the Republican president's White House, such as the Colombian Iván Duque, or those who have remained more distant, such as Alberto Fernández in Argentina. However, other presidents, such as the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro or the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador have avoided, at least until now, congratulating the winner.
The president of Brazil has been slow to digest the defeat of his ally Trump. This result means that Brazil loses its main international ally and will have to deal with greater pressure for its environmental policy. It is also a brake on the global national-popular wave that time will tell if it affects Bolsonaro internally. The fact that Biden has announced that his first measure when he takes office in January will be to ask for the US to re-enter the Paris Agreement indicates that environmental policy and the fight against climate change, in which the Amazon plays a key role, it is a priority for the next presidency.
In Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has avoided referring to the victory of the Democrat. "We are going to wait for the legal matters to be finished, we do not want to be reckless," he said this Saturday afternoon. "It is a matter of decency, political civility," he added.
One of the first Latin American personalities to congratulate Biden before noon was former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. “The world won, the United States won, Colombia won. Congratulations friend Joe Biden! ”, The also winner of the Nobel Peace Prize reacted almost instantly on his social networks for the agreement he sealed at the end of 2016 with the defunct FARC guerrilla. Biden himself often refers to the Andean country as "the cornerstone" of Washington's foreign policy in Latin America. When he was a congressman from Delaware, he was one of the promoters of Plan Colombia, which strengthened that alliance at the turn of the century, and the administration of Barack Obama, of which he was vice president, resolutely supported the Havana talks and the peace agreement.
The US campaign has come with a deep political charge in Colombia, where the polarization of both countries has found a mirror. The Duque government, critical of the agreements, has cultivated an intimate relationship with Trump regarding the strategy in the face of the crisis in neighboring Venezuela and the “diplomatic siege” against the Nicolás Maduro regime. In the final stretch, the undisguised support for Trump's reelection of both former president Álvaro Uribe and the Democratic Center, the government party founded by the former president, unleashed all kinds of criticism of the Colombian Foreign Ministry, with accusations of having broken its tradition of neutrality.
Duque's long-awaited congratulations to Biden, which singled out Kamala Harris as "first female vice president," came two hours after Santos's. “We wish them the best of success in their management. We will work together to strengthen the common agenda on trade, environment, security and the fight against transnational crime, ”he wrote on Twitter. Uribe, Duque's political mentor who turned to backing the Republicans in the crucial state of Florida, had not commented on the outcome of the presidential elections. Healing the wounds that the campaign may have left will be the priority task of Colombian diplomacy.
The congratulations of leaders followed one another in the afternoon. The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, was also among the first presidents of the region to address Biden for his victory, after months of special care not to support either candidate. “I congratulate the American people on the record turnout in the elections, a clear expression of popular will. I greet Joe Biden, the next president of the United States, and Kamala Harris, who will be the first female vice president of that country, ”the Argentine wrote on his Twitter account.
Relations between Buenos Aires and Washington have been cold since the arrival to power of Peronism, a year ago, especially due to the attempts of the Casa Rosada to block Mauricio Claver-Carone's election as director of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). , the man chosen by Trump, in what was a stark contrast to the early and enthusiastic support of Duque's Colombia. Biden's victory will not particularly favor Argentina, currently marked by commercial ties that are maintained over time.
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera also congratulated Biden as the "next president of the United States" for his victory in the elections. "Chile and the United States share values such as freedom, the defense of human rights, and challenges such as peace and the protection of the environment," he wrote on his Twitter account. The relationship with the United States is fundamental for Chile, because the North American country is its second trading partner, the second destination for national exports and the second supplier in terms of imports. The 2004 Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has played a key role in that relationship.
In a similar vein, the president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, spoke, who also highlighted the massive participation of US voters. "We will work to strengthen democracy, multilateralism, international cooperation and preserve the environment," he wrote. "That in his period the relationship between our countries remains firm and prosperous, always for the benefit of common objectives," he wished Biden and Harris for their part Lenín Moreno, president of Ecuador, a country that is holding negotiations with Washington for an agreement commercial.
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