These Summits of the Americas are normally attended by 35 countries that are members of the OAS. Biden fared badly at this IX Summit, which this time was held in Los Angeles, California, because it was not all of the Americas, as only 27 heads of state attended. Eight of these heads were absent, either because they were not invited or because they did not like the exclusion of others. And many, including Argentina and Chile, went to the Summit but argued that all should be invited. Five of the absent governments only sent their foreign ministers, such as Mexico, which has set the tone on this occasion.

Biden and his wife – she looked young and well-dressed but sober – greeted the Presidents and their wives, some very elegant, some not so elegant. I saw Boric almost last, very smiling, but he was alone, he did not bring his companion. In these meetings almost everyone hugged each other, none of them wore masks.

A video show began, in which many children appeared, some small and some teenagers, of all colours, with a predominance of Negroes and indigenous people, who greeted the guests and at some point reported which is the highest mountain in America, the longest river and things like that.

The vice-president, Kamala Harris, said a few words before the show began. By the way, Kamala has disappointed many because it was believed that she would soon replace Biden, who because of his age would not be able to carry the charge. But Kamala has so far been zero to the left.

The show went on with a typical American show, perhaps inappropriate for a major political event. Many expected something solemn, an excellent orchestra, the New York Philharmonic for example, playing the Ode to Joy or something like that. But no, it was a festive Las Vegas spectacle, as the presidents of America looked on in wonder.

The opening speech was made by the President of Peru, Don Pedro Castillo, who looked very happy and grateful to be given this opportunity, because the previous Summit was held in Peru. They were only kind words, not a word of criticism, but will it have to be like that?

Afterwards, Biden spoke to open the event. He did not say anything new, a standard speech, a welcome speech, and regretted that not all the heads of government invited were present. He added that “democracy is the essential ingredient for the future of the Americas”, and affirmed that today when “democracy is under assault around the world, we must come together again to reaffirm it”.

Naturally, he did not explain that those who have always assaulted democracy around the world are the Americans. We Chileans know this very well because we have experienced it.

In addition to economic problems, he added the issues of food security, for which the US will contribute a meagre 300 million dollars; climate, including an initiative in the Caribbean; health, for which 500,000 health workers in the Americas will be trained; and on migration, a Declaration will be presented.

Incidentally, this commitment on migration is of little value when the Presidents of the countries that are fundamental in this matter, because they are the ones that send the most migrants (Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico) have not attended the Summit.


All the Presidents had to make a keynote speech to the Assembly. Gabriel Boric referred to Chile’s commitment to Human Rights and spoke about the war in Ukraine, which has caused economic problems for all our peoples.

This last topic seemed to me to be out of place because none of the other leaders spoke about it.

Boric went on to express his criticism of the US decision to exclude Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua from the event, stating “we are here to dialogue, to listen, and that is why we have the deepest conviction that for this to really work, there can be no exclusions. We should all be here, but we are not all here”.

He also spoke of his feminist convictions, of his government’s battle against inequality, of the inclusion of indigenous cultures and languages, and of the new constitution being drafted in Chile. There was nothing very original in his speech, but he was on a par with most of the audience, who said more or less the same thing about how there should be no exclusions.


In his first appearance at the summit, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who has been the star of this meeting, stated that the Organisation of American States (OAS) is an exhausted body in the face of a reality that demands “entering a new stage in the relations of the countries of the Americas, and seeking a true and genuine union for the benefit of all”.

Ebrard went on to say that it is incredible that at this stage we continue to see blockades, embargoes and condemnations against Cuba and Venezuela, even during the pandemic, contradicting international law and the objectives that encourage us in the region. He ended with the statement that López Obrador’s absence at the Summit of the Americas is a respectful disagreement.


In his keynote speech, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, who also spoke as president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), affirmed that the Organisation of American States (OAS) must be restructured if it is to return to being a body of reference.

And he added something that is true but has been hidden: that the OAS was used “as a gendarme that facilitated a coup d’état in Bolivia”.

And, naturally, he criticised the fact that not everyone had been invited and referred to the blockade that Cuba has endured “for more than six decades, a product of the Cold War years, and that Venezuela tolerates another one, while a pandemic ravaging humanity takes millions of lives with it”.

In short, one of the best and most courageous speeches.


Apart from the substantive speeches in the Assembly, there were partial, bilateral meetings and various interviews.

In one of these side meetings, Gabril Boric made an impassioned defence of the Oceans as a way to confront the three major crises affecting the world today: climate change, biodiversity loss and the deterioration of the oceans.

It was a very nice speech, as he is expected to do.

But there was a gaffe here, because he said that big countries like India, the United States and others were not in this fight. And it turns out that the US representative was sitting next to him.

Maybe the speech was revised in Chile and others are responsible, but these people go from blunder to blunder. Hazing cannot go on forever.


Various analysts note the absence of several presidents at the summit as a reflection of the decline of US leadership in Latin America.

Venezuela’s Guaidó was not invited – what’s the point if he has no access to oil?

“I think they don’t have a vision of Latin America,” Lacalle Pou, the president of Uruguay, said in an interview with the BBC. Lacalle Pou did not attend the summit on the grounds that he was ill.

Biden has been unable to prevent the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from becoming one of the main themes of the event. This has led many analysts to consider the summit a complete failure. For example, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) tweeted something like this: The Summit of the Americas is a diplomatic selfie, the US has no good proposals. The focus of the meeting is on who is invited and who is not.


Yesterday, the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio questioned whether President Boric could attend the Summit, because a member of his entourage who travelled on the same plane, had tested positive for the coronavirus and therefore Boric could be infected. Fake news