Jill Biden sent on diplomatic mission to save the Summit of the Americas

Jill Biden sent on diplomatic mission to save the Summit of the Americas
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Joe Biden is sending his wife to do what he can’t get done. Jill Biden boarded a plane on Wednesday headed to Latin America. She is on a six-day tour through the capital cities of Central and northwestern South America. Her mission is to charm foreign leaders into accepting invitations to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in June. So far, only about half of the invitees have accepted their invitations. Participation of only 50% would be the latest embarrassment for Team Biden.

Times are tough for the incompetent and inept Biden administration. In a nod to just how bad things are, Jill Biden looks to be the go-to person being called upon by the White House to handle this diplomatic tightrope. The summit is billed as “President Biden’s highest priority event for the region” on the State Department’s website but it is turning into a disaster. The president of Mexico is leading the calls for a boycott in reaction to the Biden administration’s plan to exclude leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

The summit is to be hosted in the United States for the first time since the inaugural summit in Miami in 1994. It will be held in Los Angeles this year. Ashley Biden was supposed to accompany her mother on the trip but she has tested positive for COVID-19. Ashley was also supposed to go to Europe with her mother but had to cancel, also due to exposure to COVID-19. Is Ashley going to be taking advantage of her mother’s foreign connections as Hunter did with his father’s in the Obama administration? Inquiring minds want to know. Biden, Inc. has a long history of such corruption, after all.

If Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador follows through on his threat of boycott, one of the region’s largest countries could undermine the summit. Ryan C. Berg, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, says this high priority event is turning into a disaster.

“I think that there’s a sense of crisis that’s setting in now, in the administration, where they might host a summit where only 50 percent of the countries in the region show up,” Berg says, adding that the United States is correct in its plan to exclude the region’s dictators from a summit bolstering democracy.

The Biden administration is one crisis after another. Biden campaigned on bringing back normal, on bringing in the experienced professionals who knew how to get things done. However, all we’ve seen since he took office has been one disaster after another. The question is, why is Jill Biden being deployed to Latin America instead of a professional diplomat or foreign relations expert? What about Kamala? I know she’s a walking disaster but she is the vice-president. She is supposed to be working on issues like illegal immigration in Central America, right? It shows the administration doesn’t have the confidence in her ability to deal with world leaders. Sending Jill looks like weakness and ineptness by the State Department and the White House. Sorry. Not sorry.

Look for plenty of swooning from the press in coverage of Jill’s grand tour. It’s her second solo trip overseas this month. She went to Ukraine for Mother’s Day though such a trip for her husband was deemed too dangerous. Now she’s being sent to Latin America as a representative of the president.

The first lady is now stepping into this delicate soup of diplomacy. It’s just over a year since Vice President Harris’s first foreign trip, to Guatemala and Mexico, earned her criticism for her sharp words to prospective migrants: “Do not come.”

Biden, though, has brought a deft touch to relationship-building as first lady. On her early-May trip into Ukraine, she visited a school with first lady Olena Zelenska, who had been in hiding since the Russian invasion began in February. On Tuesday, she joined the president in Buffalo, to meet with survivors and families of victims of the racially motivated mass shooting at a Tops supermarket. Her trip to the Tokyo Olympics, while Japan was shut down to outsiders because of coronavirus concerns, combined a bilateral visits with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga with images of Biden in empty stands, decked out in red, white, and blue, as a one-woman cheering squad for Team USA — whose members couldn’t even have their family members there.

On this trip, Biden has chosen to visit three pro-U.S. allies. It serves a dual purpose of praising countries that are working toward U.S. values while also trying to assure at least a minimal attendance at the summit, Berg says.

Laura Bush’s former chief of staff, Anita McBride, now director of the First Ladies Initiative at American University, says Jill Biden is taking on delicate work. She is trying to make sure that allies remain allies. “You want those relationships to be strong, especially in a region fraught with different views, different personalities, different leadership views toward the United States,” McBride says. “You can’t ignore your friends when you’re trying to make friends with your enemies.” It’s not easy work.

Biden began her trip in Quito, Ecuador. Today she will meet with Ecuador’s president and first lady. She goes to Panama City later. The last stop today will be Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, she will be the first high-level U.S. official to meet with President Rodrigo Chaves. He won his election in April. She will do the usual things that first ladies do when visiting foreign countries – visit schools and talk about initiatives like combatting HIV/AIDS. In Ecuador she will meet with migrant teenagers from Venezuela and Colombia who are in school in Ecuador. We know that illegal migrants from Venezuela and Colombia flock to our southern border. Shouldn’t Kamala be involved here?

Latin American countries feel a sense of neglect from the Biden administration. That would track, though, because the Biden administration really only pays attention to another country or issue when a crisis develops. They are slow to act and always claim to have been caught off guard. Look at the planning of this summit. It’s to be held next month and the State Department can’t get about half of the countries to agree to come. The perception is that this administration is only interested in working with the Northern Triangle because of the illegal immigration crisis.

Latin America is rife with corruption and that is nothing new. The countries aren’t so eager to be working allies with the United States as they are to receive American aid. This is nothing new. It’s just a bit ironic that all through the last administration we were told that the rest of the world was turned off to America because of the bad Orange Man, yet he established working relationships with many of the countries that Biden now fails to do.

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