Ahead of the summit, officials declined to provide specifics but said Biden would advance initiatives to address climate change, food insecurity, and a collaborative approach to a regionwide migration crisis that has sent millions of people spilling out of Haiti, Venezuela and other countries.
Rebecca Bill Chavez, a former Pentagon official who serves as head of the Inter-American Dialogue, said the administration must sustain high-level engagement on the region.
“This should not be seen as a one-and-done event,” she said. “It should be just seen as a starting point for action.”
Hanging over the summit are larger questions about the place that Latin America should occupy in the constellation of foreign policy challenges the Biden administration — and any administration — must confront, including China’s economic and military rise, an unpredictable and antagonistic Russia, the global implications of climate change and many other issues.
Chavez said the United States must embrace a policy of persistent high-level engagement.
“I understand that Latin America cannot be our top priority,” she said. “But it needs to be on the list.”