First Lady Jill Biden touts US commitment to South and Central America in speech in Ecuador

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The first lady took advantage of her remarks, delivered before a speech by Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, to praise America’s commitment to this part of the world.

“You know Joe and I hope you know he cares deeply about you, and I do too. And that’s why I’m here today,” said Biden, who is leaving for Panama on Friday before heading to travel to Costa Rica. “The United States is committed to Ecuador.

The first lady’s tour aims to highlight the United States‘ role in partnering with each country and those nations’ commitment to democracy, according to her office. The trip comes as the Biden administration faces several challenges on the immigration front, including a heated debate over Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic restriction that allows migrants to be turned back at the border. Mexican-American due to the public health crisis.

The visit also serves as a precursor to the Summit of the Americas, to be held in June in Los Angeles. The summit meets every three to four years and brings together leaders from North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. This year will be the first time the United States has hosted the summit since its inception in 1994.

Biden’s speech touched on next month’s Summit of the Americas, which already faces the threat of a boycott of Mexico unless Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are invited. US officials have repeatedly said that the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela will not be invited to the summit because of their human rights record. As the host country, the United States has the privilege of selecting the leaders to invite to the summit.

“In June, Joe and I are excited to invite leaders and their spouses to Los Angeles, California for the Summit of the Americas. At this summit, our leaders have a very ambitious agenda, to come together on things like the achieving a sustainable future,” Biden said.

The first lady also warned of the scourge of political corruption in the region.

“If a nation is vulnerable to…authoritarianism…or poverty, it won’t be long before those same issues get to us all,” Biden said. “But when nations here in South America embrace democracy, you become living proof that governments can serve the people they represent – inspiring others to follow.”

These warnings were also interwoven with reminders of the difficulties of recent years, in particular the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Injustice and corruption, poverty and pollution, disease and despair. They are not contained by any borders,” Biden said. “If we have learned anything from the Covid-19 pandemic, from these past years of illness and grief, it is how a deadly virus can spread across the world. How hunger and violence are woven together. How a war in Europe can affect stock markets and supermarkets.And here, how the loss of trees in your Amazon can take a slice of the future from us all.

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