|A recent anti-Trump march in Bogotá portrayed Trump as a fascist.|
Few of the heads of state at this week’s Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru are likely to miss Donald Trump. Trump, after all, has done all he could to insult, ignore and offend Latin America.
The White House justified Trump’s absence by saying that he needed to focus on events in Syria, where the vicious Assad government recently used poison gas on its own people. That’s certainly important. El Tiempo newspaper, however, pointed out that Trump often governs by Twitter, making his excuse less than convincing. The New York Times observes that even before Trump, the U.S. was losing influence in Latin America to China, which is now the largest trading partner of Brazil, Chile and Peru and has made huge infrastructure investments in the region.
Trump had also planned to visit Colombia, one of the few nations which still has lukewarm relations with Washington. But U.S. Vice President Pence, who will replace Trump, will skip Colombia, which he visited last year. Colombia feels stood up, editorializes El Tiempo.
The summit will now lack its two most polemical heads of state, Trump and Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro, who first insisted on participating in the summit and then decided to boycott it.
With the two polarizing figures gone, perhaps the rest of the leaders can get something done.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours