President Joe Biden received his Ecuadorian counterpart, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, at the White House on Monday, to strengthen the strategic alliance between the United States and Ecuador, at a time of threats to democracy in the region, the advance of drug trafficking and growing Chinese influence.
It is the second time that the heads of state have a bilateral meeting. They had met in April of this year as part of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, but this time Biden invited him to the White House, a formality that is interpreted as a gesture of trust and US support for the visitor.
The American also offered Lula to come to Washington after the Brazilian takes over in January. Meanwhile, the postponed meeting with Alberto Fernández (due to Biden’s covid) has no place on today’s agenda of the Democrat.
Biden thus gave a strong signal to Lasso, a former conservative banker and entrepreneur. United States of America look for a reference in the areaafter the exit of Ivan Duque from the Colombian presidency and in the presence today of several centre-left governments.
But Lasso’s endorsement doesn’t come only from the White House: it was approved by Congress last week the act of association between the United States and Ecuadorthe first time in history that legislation dedicated exclusively to relations between the two countries has been approved to increase bilateral cooperation on trade issues and deepen security, democracy, human rights and environmental protection.
In the White House and in Congress China’s advance in that country is worrying (Lasso is about to sign a trade deal with the Asian giant) and in the region. That is why they try to speed up mutual exchange and investment.
The presidents spoke about security, the economy and migration. And also of the importance of democratic institutions, when neighboring Peru faces a strong crisis that does not stop, e which included an own coup, the arrest of President Pedro Castillo and a wave of violence in the streets.
Lasso presented his concern for security to Biden: “We had the opportunity to speak with him about the situation of violence that our country is experiencing due to drug trafficking, organized crime and transnational criminal groups. We talked about these issues for an hour with President Biden. It was a very close encounter, very friendly and respectful,” he said.
The Peru case
“We talked about migrations and migrations as a consequence of the economic problems of many Latin American countries. We have ratified our commitment to continue supporting, as we have done, the migratory phenomenon, especially (migrants) from Venezuela to Ecuador,” she added.
Later, in a presentation before the OAS Permanent Council, Lasso delved into the protection of democracy and lashed out at former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, which he accused of violating the constitutional order with his own coupwhile countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Bolivia spoke out in favor of Castillo.
The Ecuadorian president “deeply regretted the unrest” in Peru after the dismissal of Castillo, but remarked that “the provision by the then president Castillo to dissolve the Congress of the Republic, one of the fundamental institutions of democracy, violated the constitutional order of your country”.
Furthermore, Lasso has come out in defense of the OAS, an organization strongly questioned by Mexico and Argentina. “Attempt to downplay the relevance of the OAS it’s already risky, but considering extinction is nonsense,” he said.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.