The listless Biden Administration is not just losing in places like China, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Eastern Europe, they are losing closer to home. By inaction, stupidity, and indifference, they are losing Latin America. That could be devastating.
Having spent time in many of this hemisphere’s countries, watching the loss of close US allies, reversal of free markets, pro-American, pro-free speech, pro-democracy, anti-terrorism, anti-narcotics trafficking regimes is stunning.
During Biden’s tenure, we have – rather incredibly – lost formerly pro-US and democratic allies in Peru and Colombia, not to mention other nations in South and Central America. From Brazil to Panama, Guatemala through Mexico, what was respect, cooperation, coordinated and peace-through-strength has become disorientation, leftist advances, populations pockmarked by fear.
Over the past 20 years, we spent billions to educate, title land, seed human rights, teach respect, fortify rule of law, tamp down public corruption, elevate public health and self-government, end overt terrorism, reduce drug trafficking homicides, rapes, kidnappings, and other crimes. Now, all that slips away.
Our allies globally see this loss of regional influence, cohesion, respect for democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law. China sees and cheers this loss of US presence, loss of traction for self-determination, human rights, and the prosperity that free markets brought. They are positioning to replace us.
The damage is profound and continues, chiefly because the Biden Administration cares little about this region, except apparently as a source of illegal aliens who offer an underclass dependent on largess, thus assisting the leftist push to consolidate power at the federal level. All this is disappointing.
Respect for US leadership in the region, once strong, thoughtful, respectful, and resilient, is now in retrograde, being backfilled by a surge in human and drug trafficking, lawlessness in these nations.
Worse, the Biden Administration is now fumbling, gradually importing this same regional lawlessness, drift to public corruption, drug addiction, personal violence, disrespect for law, and civic conflict – into the United States.
Over the past 25 years, sitting with Presidents, Foreign Ministers, Attorneys General of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, and others in this region – all of whom respected, most of whom admired, the United States, seeing this slide is heartbreaking.
Perhaps the punctuating event was this week, after Biden lost our longtime regional ally Colombia to leftists. Biden did not even seem to notice. “The commander of U.S. Southern Command…raised concerns” in Congress, that we are losing decades of traction, commitment, ideological, economic and security ties, as “the U.S. is not matching China’s grand strategy in Latin America.”
Moreover, civilian, economic, and military losses to China could easily go military, creating a kind of slow-motion checkmate. The Commander is – in a word – “concerned.” In addition to losing vital minerals, medicines, trade, and sweet crude, we could lose the strategic southern part of this hemisphere.
History is won and lost less by bold moves than by insidious increments, ignoring realities which in time prove game-changing, underestimating an enemy’s will, intent, power, grip and – in some cases – malice aforethought.
We are in that place with leftists around the world, and China leads the communist push, not only in their own hemisphere, but in this one. They would love nothing better than to turn the dial, realign the southern hemisphere against us, keep shipping drugs, violence, and illegals.
All this can be stopped, lost alliances regained, lost freedoms and free markets, and security agreements reestablished, democratic and honest leaders supported, fair elections applauded – but only if we get the stakes, care enough to be engaged, understand the real game, and value freedom. We did. We need to again. Soon.
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