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Over 100 Organizations Call on Biden to Adopt a New Good Neighbor Policy towards Latin America

WASHINGTON - Over 100 organizations that work on issues related to Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Global Economy, New Internationalism, and Drug Policy Programs at the Institute for Policy Studies, sent a letter to Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump calling for the next administration to adopt a new Good Neighbor Policy toward the region based on non-intervention, cooperation, and mutual respect. Current policies punish innocent civilians through harsh economic sanctions, destabilize the region through coups and attempts at regime change, and are a significant factor in driving migration northwards. 

Among the organizations calling for a new approach are Alianza Americas, Amazon Watch, the Americas Program, Center for International Policy, the Institute for Policy Studies (Global Economy, New Internationalism, and Drug Policy Programs), CODEPINK, Demand Progress, Global Exchange, the Latin America Working Group and Oxfam America.

The letter to the presidential candidates warns that in “January 2021, the President of the United States will face a hemisphere that will not only still be reeling from the coronavirus but will also likely be experiencing a deep economic recession.” The letter calls for the next administration to follow a new Good Neighbor Policy and proposes that “the best way for the United States to help is not by seeking to impose its will, but rather by engaging with the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean as equal partners.”

“The Trump administration openly calls its Latin America and Caribbean policy the ‘Monroe Doctrine 2.0’, and the Democratic Party hasn’t been much better. Its platform calls the entire Western Hemisphere ‘America’s strategic home base.’ The countries and peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America aren’t anyone’s backyard or home base, they are sovereign and want their relations with Washington to be based on non-intervention, mutual respect and cooperation for the common good,” said Leonardo Flores, Latin America Campaign Coordinator for CODEPINK. “If the U.S. government applied these principles, it would end the broad sanctions that punish innocent civilians in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, and instead resolve its differences with these countries through diplomacy and multilateralism.”  

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In addition to calling for an end to stifling economic sanctions, the organizations also call for ending U.S. arms sales and militarization of the region, ending political interference in elections and domestic affairs, supporting the human rights of all peoples, and implementing a humane immigration policy and fairer economic policies.

"It is time to revert unjust rules with which billions of dollars have been siphoned from Latin America to wealthy corporations mainly in the United States, specifically via Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions found in free trade and investment treaties", said Manuel Pérez-Rocha, Program Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. "The victims of the economic consequences of Covid-19 will not be foreign investors, but the poorest and most vulnerable around the world, and Latin America will be particularly hit. Unfair debt collection and payments from obscure ISDS awards must be halted".    

The letter to candidate Biden and full list of endorsing organizations can be accessed at this link and is included below. An identical letter to President Trump is available here

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Institute for Policy Studies turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. We strengthen social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials. I.F. Stone once called IPS "the think tank for the rest of us." Since 1963, we have empowered people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the US, and the world. Click here to learn more, or read the latest below.

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