U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said President Barack Obama´s government is taking an important step toward a “new day” in Washington, D.C.´s relations with Latin Ame rica.
In an op-ed piece published over the weekend in a dozen Latin American daily newspapers, Biden stressed the importance of the progressive governance conference he attended in Chile over the weekend and the meeting he will have in Costa Rica with Central Ame rica n presidents Monday, prior to Obama´s appearance next month at the Summit of the Ame rica s in Trinidad and Tobago.
“These meetings are an important first step toward a new day in relations and building partnerships with and among the countries and people of the hemisphere,” the vice president wrote, stressing the importance of “working together” in the face of challenges currently facing the region, with the global economic crisis not the least of them.
“The world economic crisis has touched virtually all of us — every country, every community, every family. … It is our duty, as partners, to heed their calls and together forge a shared solution to a common problem,” wrote the former chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
“A robust U.S. economy is good for the hemisphere and can become an engine for bottom up economic growth and equality throughout the region,” Biden wrote. “We recognize that the United States is still striving to meet its constitutional goal of forming a ‘more perfect union´ and that we have, in the past, fallen short of our own ideals. But we pledge every day to honor the values that animate our democracy, and to lead by example.”
The vice president also encouraged Latin American countries to cooperatively combat climate change, poverty, social inequality, arms trafficking, gang violence and the international drug trade, and acknowledged that the U.S. must “do more to reduce demand for illicit drugs.”