US diplomacy stressed in Costa Rica the need to think first about improving the quality of life to reduce the need to live in a country with better opportunities.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, urged Central America on Tuesday to defend democracy and fight corruption to fight the "root causes" of the influx of migrants to the United States when tensions with certain countries complicate Washington's task.
Good governments are important in meeting challenges and seizing opportunities. However, we are meeting at a time when democracy and human rights are being violated in many parts of the region, he said after meeting with President Carlos Alvarado in Costa Rica.
We see it in the erosion of the independence of the Judiciary, the repression of independent media and non-governmental organizations, the banning of political opponents, and the backsliding in the fight against corruption," added Secretary of State Joe Biden.
This is one of the reasons why people are forced to leave their homes. The head of the US State Department, Julie Chung, did not trust her government.
Blinken's comments come when Washington intensifies its criticism against the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, for attacking the independence of the Judiciary after the dismissal by the Congress (of an official majority) of a group of magistrates and the attorney general.
The United States also lashes out at President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, accused by human rights organizations trying to get his opponents out of the race to tempt a fourth consecutive term.
He called on the public to be accountable and protect citizens' rights, have free and fair elections, and not use force to punish their critics. Keep up the good work.
He also called on Central America to promise whether it is right-wing at the center, whether it works to improve its democratic system, and "think first to improve people's lives."
We understand how fragile democracy can be. In our country, even a few years ago, we had a problem. He added that experience had highlighted the importance of strengthening institutions and standards that protect democracy.
For his first visit to Latin America, Antony Blinken chose to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica, where the foreign ministers of the Central American Integration System (CICA) member states meet: Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador in the presence of their Mexican counterparts.
During his visit, he praised the "example" of Costa Rica, which has just joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
President Alvarado highlighted the "relationship of common values" with the United States, such as "democracy, human rights, and progress focused on people, to believe in multilateralism as how countries in this world of globalization can live together in peace And carry on."
Commitment to migration
At the heart of this two-day trip is the complicated issue of migration, a headache for President Joe Biden.
What we want to hear from our partners is our shared commitment to the root causes of illegal immigration," Blinken told a news conference with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado.
People are forced to give up their lives, their homes, their families, their communities, their culture, their language because they feel they have no other option, he added.
Barely reaching the White House in January, Biden faced many migrants to the Mexican border from Central America. The Democratic president promised a more "humane" immigration policy after the draconian restrictions of the Donald Trump administration, and the Republicans accuse him of denying the existence of an immigration "crisis."
Biden asked his vice president Kamala Harris, who will make her first trip to Mexico and Guatemala next week, to take care of the matter.
And to materialize his desire to tackle the problem "at the root," he announced support of 4,000 million dollars over four years to help the development of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, known as the Northern Triangle of Central America.
In a region hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and in need of vaccines, Blinken said that "in the next two weeks," it will be announced how the distribution of the reported 80 million doses that the United States will share with several countries will be.