Next week countries of the western hemisphere, as well as a number of non-regional states (including the UK), will vote on who should become the next president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). By unwritten custom and ever since it was founded in 1959, the bank has had a Latin American president.
Now Donald Trump wants to impose one of his trusted operatives, Mauricio Claver-Carone. Claver-Carone, born in Cuba and Trump’s main Latin American advisor at the National Security Council, has been a leading architect of the US campaign against Cuba and Venezuela.
Alarmed at the prospect of his election, a number of Latin American presidents (including those of Mexico, Argentina and Chile) want to postpone the vote until the IDB’s general assembly takes place in Barranquilla next March. They are supported by the EU’s foreign affairs supremo.
To this end, the former Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, is appealing to President Martín Vizcarra to join their ranks and use Peru’s voting power to secure the postponement. In an interview in La República, Santos is quoted as saying “Of course we all have to respect the autonomy of our dear friend President Martín Vizcarra, but I believe that, for the dignity of Latin America and of Peru, he should join with those seeking to postpone the election”.
Claver-Carone’s pitch to become IDB president is eagerly supported by Latin America’s most conservative, pro-US presidents, including Colombia’s Iván Duque and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. The US has the biggest voting block when it comes to IDB elections. The vote on postponement promises to be extremely close.
And how will Boris Johnson’s government use the UK vote? For Claver-Carone or for postponement?