Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is scheduled to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next month and plans to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, according to Planalto Palace sources. The decision follows on a visit from Biden's special envoy, former Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd who met with Bolsonaro.
The visit had been announced for the start of the month but Dodd contracted Covid 19 and had to wait before travelling to Brazil. Dodd is considered a knowledgeable person in Latin America's affairs. His brother Thomas, was ambassador in Uruguay and Costa Rica.
For several weeks the attendance of Bolsonaro remained an open question, with some media reporting he had ruled it out. It was certain Brazil would be attending the Los Angeles summit but it was not clear who would represent the country.
Off the record, members of special envoy Dodd's delegation confirmed that the bilateral meeting of the Brazilian leader with Biden has been confirmed. However the US. Embassy in Brasilia declined to comment.
A bilateral meeting in Los Angeles would be a first for the US and Brazilian leaders.
The summit, which the United States is hosting for the first time since the inaugural event in 1994, has risked collapsing over concerns about the guest list, with several leaders in the region threatening not to attend.
In addition to Bolsonaro, the most notable possible no-show has been Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has threatened to boycott if Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua aren’t included. López Obrador told reporters at his daily news conference on Wednesday that the possibility of the trip was still under discussion.
Bolsonaro, an ally of former President Donald Trump, was among the world’s last heads-of-state to recognize Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. Despite the uncomfortable situation between the two presidents, Biden is pressed to show he can rally the Americas' leaders given the growing Chinese political and trade penetration in the region.
Likewise the Russian official news agency, Sputnik published a long piece saying that most Latin American countries have rejected or are reluctant to join unconditionally President Biden administration's demand to openly condemn the military operation of Russia in Ukraine and implement Western sanctions on Moscow.
Allegedly Latin American countries in meetings with US officials avoid focusing on the Ukraine/Moscow war and insist on addressing domestic and regional issues. The State Department fears that concentrating on the conflict may curtail other US interests in the region such as migration, narcotics, organized crime and containing Beijing's penetration.
Sputnik published that Buenos Aires, Mexico and La Paz disagree with Washington in concentrating in the Ukrainian war and dislike the fact that Havana, Caracas and Managua have not been invited to the summit because of their position in favor of Russia, and several regional leaders are not willing to attend Los Angeles under those conditions.
Finally Sputnik argues that instead of Latin America isolating Russia, the US and its Western allies are ending isolated, because of their own Russophobia.