Mauricio Claver-Carone, an opponent of Cuba and Venezuela at the head of the IDB

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The new president of the bank has been a key figure in the hardening of US policies against the Chavista and Castro regimes

There is nothing more abhorrent to Mauricio Claver-Carone (Miami, 1975) than the regimes of Venezuela and Cuba. “Without democracy, the rest is irrelevant,” the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said about them in 2012, when he was the host of the radio talk show From Washington al mundo on Cristina Saralegui’s radio station, one of the most influential Cuban women in Florida. Claver-Carone has also become meteorically an influential Cuban-American in Washington until he has whispered into President Donald Trump’s ear about Latin America.

Born in Miami to a Spanish father and a Cuban mother, Claver-Carone grew up between Madrid and Florida and has described himself as Latin American during the bank’s selection process. “What makes me less Hispanic?” He said in response to criticism of his candidacy for being a US citizen in a race traditionally made for Latin Americans. Over the years, he built a strong bond with the exiled Cuban community to lead organizations such as Cuba Democracy Advocates and the US-Cuba Democracy PAC (Political Action Committee), independent entities that with donor money promote their agendas. and they support politicians loyal to their cause. He is a lawyer from Georgetown University and a professor of law at George Washington University. His experience in public policy began at the Treasury Department as an advisor on international affairs and then as an interim representative of the United States to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He was part of Donald Trump’s transition team when he became president and was later appointed the president’s adviser on Latin American issues. From there, he has undertaken the hardening of US policies against Venezuela and Cuba. During the Obama administration, he was one of the most critical voices regarding the reestablishment of relations with Havana. In 2015, in a column in The Wall Street Journal He assured that American tourists were supporting the Castro regime with the money spent on their vacations on the island. “Finances the operations of the Government [cubano] to share intelligence with terrorist groups and rebel regimes and promote violence, “he wrote then. His fight against Castroism has been aligned with that of another prominent Florida Republican politician: Senator Marco Rubio.

In the three months that the IDB member countries had to decide their vote, Claver-Carone maintained tensions with the Argentine government. He accused him of maneuvering to “try to hijack the election,” after the South American country tried to gather support to postpone the vote until March 2021. The encounter with Argentina had not been the first of the new IDB president with that country. In December 2019, Trump’s adviser traveled to Buenos Aires as a representative of the United States to the inauguration ceremony of Alberto Fernández as president, however, he left the city before the event after learning that other guests were the former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa and the Minister of Communication of Venezuela, Jorge Rodríguez. He declared, to the newspaper Clarion, who was leaving because he had encountered “unpleasant invitations and surprises” and canceled all his meetings. He slammed the door, not without first describing the rulers of Cuba and Venezuela as “second and third-rate dictators.”

The impetus that the new IDB president reflects towards some Latin American governments has been evident during the election process. He called the Argentine move to postpone the vote a “minority obstructive and subversive effort.” His language, generally on the offensive, crystallizes his vision of Latin America. “I am passionate about freedom and democracy. I am passionate about the issues of economic development and I am passionate about the issues of truth and honesty, and regulations and purpose. So, in the same way that I am an effective lawyer on these issues, I will be an effective lawyer for the region if I am elected, ”he told several journalists in August.

Claver-Carone has committed to distributing IDB credit without prejudice among Latin American countries. Her candidacy was presented with the support of El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Paraguay and Israel. He has promised that he will only be in charge of the institution for five years and that he will not seek re-election. The focus it has guaranteed will be on streamlining the flow of the bank’s resources so that it also benefits the small countries of Latin America – the IDB handles loans of about $ 12 billion a year – and on making sure that China does not continue. its progress in Latin America with the financing of ambitious projects.


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