Things That Matter

As The Votes Are Counted, Latin America Wonders What A Biden Administration Would Mean For The Region

Apart from his hateful and racist rhetoric, Donald Trump has paid very little attention to Latin America. Since taking office in 2017, he’s made only a single visit there, to the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. A region so used to U.S. leadership and/or interventionism has tried to adapt to this new arrangement with so little U.S. engagement.

Unlike in the past, when Latin American presidents were often vocal in their support for particular U.S. candidates, leaders are remaining silent. The presidents of Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia spoke out in favor of Hilary Clinton in the last election—but there’s been far less vocal support for Joe Biden this time from the leadership.

That can largely be attributed to the harsh lessons of 2016 thanks to the Electoral College – a system much less democratic than the electoral system in Latin America. On top of that, nobody wants to risk dealing with an enraged Trump—even if only for the lame duck period until January. So, while citizens demonstrate in the streets against Trump, governments are remaining quiet.

A Biden Administration would likely focus a lot more on Latin America than the current administration.

Credit: Johan Ordonez / Getty Images

It’s obvious that Biden would approach the region very differently than Trump. The former vice president made more trips just to Guatemala—hardly a behemoth such as Mexico or Brazil, or a strategic interest such as Colombia—in his two terms than Trump has made to all of Latin America as president. 

Biden, who knows the region well from his time as vice president, has promised to end many of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies. He would stop building a wall along the Mexican border and offer a US $4-billion aid plan to boost prosperity in Central America, the origin of much of the migration.

However, some things are not likely to change. Latin America isn’t likely to become a major priority as the U.S. continues to face a dire public health and economic emergency. Within the region, Mexico would remain the focus because of its long land border — a major source of immigration and smuggled drugs — and its status as a top trade and investment partner.

Biden could help lead a major shift in human rights protections for the region.

Credit: Gerardo Vieyra / Getty Images

With Venezuela, as with Cuba, a Biden administration is unlikely to turn the clock straight back to Obama-era detente; the clout of anti-communist Latino voters in the key state of Florida will see to that. Cautious steps to build confidence are more likely.

With leaders in the Andean nations of Chile, Peru and Ecuador all due to step down following elections in the first year of a new U.S. president, Mr. Fernández of Argentina, a pragmatic leftist, stands out as one of the Latin American leaders who may benefit from a President Biden.

Climate change, energy, and environmental rules in the region will likely grow in importance.

Credit: Ernesto Carriço / Getty Images

In a region so reliant on fossil fuels, climate change may prove to be an area of friction between Biden and local leaders. As president, Biden has outlined plans for a clean energy revolution and if he wins, he will face renewed pressure to confront Mexico’s AMLO, who has focused his entire economic vision on boosting oil and coal.

“Energy policy will be a key point on Biden’s domestic agenda and his domestic economic agenda as well as his foreign policy agenda. That will pose a challenge to the current Mexican government,” said Antonio Ortiz-Mena at Albright Stonebridge group, a consultancy.

Meanwhile, in the Amazon, Biden’s views on deforestation have already upset hard-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is an ally to Trump. “Climate is a big one for Biden and … he will isolate Bolsonaro and his associates,” said a senior diplomat who follows Brazil closely. “For them, losing their big friend up north could be quite a problem. They have put all their eggs in that basket.”

Despite his racist attacks, there are pockets of support for Trump across Latin America.

Credit: Carlos Arias / Getty Images

Although Biden would bring stability to the region, it’s true that Trump does still have pockets of support across Latin America. In fact, Mexico’s AMLO has proven to know how to effectively work alongside Trump to get what he wants.

Just last year, after the election of a leftist leader in Argentina, AMLO told Alberto Fernández – Argentina’s new leader – how to deal with the U.S. president: “With Trump you can do anything you want, just don’t say anything, don’t get into a confrontation with him and you’ll be fine.”

The advice was sound. While Trump likes to issue ultimatums to Latin American presidents, his bark is often worse than his bite. Threats to close the Mexican border, impose punitive tariffs on Brazil or to invade Venezuela all proved empty.

However, a Biden presidency could bring much needed stability and consistency to a region that is currently undergoing a major flux in politics. Across Latin America, the region is suffering from acute crises (immigration, economic, health, environmental) and having a Biden Administration as a partner could help deliver much needed results to governments currently struggling.

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Team Trump’s Latest Appearance At The Oversight Committee Hearing Was A Complete Trainwreck Oh And Giuliani Farted

Entertainment

Team Trump’s Latest Appearance At The Oversight Committee Hearing Was A Complete Trainwreck Oh And Giuliani Farted

Alex Wong / Getty

Something stinks in the White House and it’s not just Donald Trump and his inability to cope with being a loser.

Rudy Giuliani’s campaign effort to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election continues to waft through hearing rooms like a rotten gaseous scent… which, according to video recordings, not unlike the one Guiliani is suspected of releasing during Wednesday night’s conspiracy-filled hearing in Lansing, Michigan.

Giuliana stirred up a rash of cackles this week when the audible sounds of his stomach were heard during the hearings.

Four hours into the lengthy event, two fart sounds could be heard while Giuliani delivered his speeches. During the Michigan hearing, Michigan state Rep. Darrin Camilleri asked Guiliani a question about the recent New York Times story which reported that Giuliani talked with President Donald Trump about seeking pardons for himself last week.

“The discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani occurred as the former New York mayor has become one of the loudest voices pushing baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, which Mr. Trump still proclaims publicly that he won,” NYT reported. “Many of Mr. Trump’s longtime aides have refused to do his bidding to try to overturn an election that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly seven million votes. But Mr. Giuliani has repeatedly thrust himself into the spotlight to cast doubt on the results, which has ingratiated him with the president.”

Guiliani objected to Rep. Camilleri’s questions and accused him of defamation.

“I will ask that he be disciplined for that,” Giuliani requested into the microphone which picked up the first pedo sound.

Not 90 seconds later, Camilleri asked Giuliani to address Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement that federal prosecutors had yet to come across evidence of election fraud.

“The answer that I gave you was that they didn’t bother to interview a single witness,” Giuliani replied as another louder even larger sounding pedo came in through the mic.

It didn’t take long for Giuliani’s loud fart to go viral on Twitter.

HuffPost reporter Ryan Reilly shared the clip on Twitter on Wednesday night. It has since been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Users were quick to note that Jenna Ellis, another attorney taking part in Giuliani’s campaign of lies about a Trump 2020 victory. (Which did not happen) could be seen reacting to the noise by glancing at him over her shoulder.

Like the hot air Giuliani blew into the hearing, there were quite a few bizarre moments that came about.

Giuliani brought in a parade of alleged election fraud witnesses who all managed to make outrageously conspiratorial and racist statements during the hearing. Plus, according to Buzzfeed, “Giuliani was not sworn in at the hearing, so he was under no legal obligation to tell the truth.”

One “witness,” Melissa Carone drew audible laughter during the hearing for her clown-like performance.

According to The Guardian, Carone is a contract worker for Dominion Voting Systems and “appeared before a Michigan house panel on Wednesday and insisted, without providing evidence, that tens of thousands of votes had been counted twice.” Her aggressive approach to her claims quickly drew viral attention on Twitter from users who were quick to compare her to a Saturday Night Live character.

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Here Are The Southern California Latino Politicians Gov. Newsom Should Consider For Kamala Harris’ Empty Seat

Things That Matter

Here Are The Southern California Latino Politicians Gov. Newsom Should Consider For Kamala Harris’ Empty Seat

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Now that Sen. Kamala Harris will Vice President-elect Harris, there is a lot of talk about who Gov. Gavin Newsom should appoint to the seat. There is a lot of pressure on Gov. Newsom to appoint a person of color and we agree. Here are six Latino politicians from Southern California that should be appointed to the vacant Senate seat.

Hilda Solis

Solis’s political career started in 1992 when she ran for and won a seat in the California State Assembly. In that position, Solis made her presence known and was a crucial voice in the debate on undocumented immigrants backing legislation to make college accessible to undocumented immigrants living in California. Since then, Solis has served in the California State Senate, represented California in the House of Representatives, served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama, and is currently on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Solis has history, experience, and knowledge of politics from local to national levels. In that time, Solis has backed and written legislation and policies on every issue ranging from domestic violence to the environment.

Robert Garcia

Garica is the current mayor of Long Beach and has established himself on the international stage. As mayor of Long Beach, Garcia has worked tirelessly to address climate change and establish strong trade partnerships with countries around the world.

As an openly gay politician, Garcia has used his time in office to work to expand LGBTQ+ rights around the world. The mayor has visited Peru and Honduras Victory Institute and the State Department to take the fight to Latin America.

Nanette Barrágan

Barrágan is currently a congresswoman reprensenting California’s 44th congressional district. The congresswoman would bring a legal background often needed by members of the Senate. Barrágan started to get involved with politics working on African-American outreach for the Clinton administration. Barrágan also spent time working with the NAACP working on health policy and racial health disparities.

Barrágan was one of the members of Congress to go to the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration. Barrágan recorded and exposed the conditions of people legally seeking asylum under Trump’s assault on migrants.

Kevin de León

De León started his political career in 2006 when he was elected to the California State Assembly. After a brief tenure, de León was elected to the California State Senate where he worked on a wide range of issues. De León worked with his colleagues on issues like affirmative consent, the environment, gun control, and transportation.

De León ran for the Senate in 2018 against Sen Dianne Feinstein and lost. Now, de León serves on the Los Angeles City Council filling José Huizar’s former seat. Huizar stepped down due to an investigation into corruption and birbery.

Norma Torres

Torres has had a steady career in politics starting on the Pomona City Council before becoming Mayor of Pomona. From there, Torres served in both the California State Assembly and State Senate before becoming a member of Congress representing California’s 35th congressional district.

As a member of Congress, Torres has worked on the following committees:

  • United States House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
  • United States House Committee on Rules

Alex Padilla

Padilla has been a public servant for California for decades serving as president of the Los Angeles City Council before being part of the California State Senate. In 2015, Padilla became the Secretary of State of California. In 2017, Padilla pushed back against the Trump administration and refused to turn over voter data to the administration. He then went on to win reelection with 64.5 percent of the vote in 2018.

Padilla is currently the favorite to be Gov. Newsom’s choice to fill Vice President-elect Harris’ vacant seat in the Senate.

READ: Kamala Harris’s Husband Is Quitting His Job to Become America’s First ‘Second Gentleman’

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