Mauricio Claver-Carone, advisor for the Americas to US President Donald Trump, was elected this Saturday as the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), becoming the first leader of the institution that does not come from a Latin American country.
The US lawyer of Cuban origin, who for two years was the visible face of Trump’s policy towards Latin America that has been characterized by an excessive ideologization of diplomacy and the revival of the Monroe Doctrine, took -via videoconference- over the reins of the institution in a secret ballot of the Board of Governors of the IDB, to which he arrived as the only candidate.
He secured 23 out of the 28 votes of governors of countries in the region that he needed to take office, in addition to 66.8% of the support from the 48 member nations of the institution regional and extra regional), according to sources from the National Security Council of the White House, where Claver-Carone works.
However, the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement that both Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago, plus the member countries of the European Union (EU), decided to abstain from voting.
The abstentions totaled 31.23% of the total votes cast and covered a total of 16 countries, according to the Argentine Foreign Ministry, a fact that the IDB did not confirm and to which former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) referred as an election “lacked of legitimacy.”
Apart from the United States, Claver-Carone’s candidacy was presented by El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Israel and Paraguay, and his appointment was also supported by countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay, according to EFE news agency.
The European Union (EU), which has 13 IDB member countries, pressed together with Argentina, Mexico and Chile to postpone the elections until March 2021 so that they would take place after the US elections next November, due to the uncertainty of Trump playing a second term.
Many analysts agree that the extreme political bias of Claver Carone will politicize an organizations designed to finance development and infrastructure projects in the region and might be used to blackmail countries in need of foreign financial assistance. Claver Carone has also be labeled as a Marco Rubio’s card and has been involved in corruption scandals during the time he work as lobbyist for the Cuban anti-communist mafia from South Florida.
Featured image: Claver Carone with extreme right Venezuelan opposition operators Antonio Ledezma, Carlos Vecchio and Julio Borges. File photo.
(Ultimas Noticias) with OT content