The IADB presidential election

The Inter-American Development Bank is about to be intervened by an official from the US National Security Council at the call of the President.

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The Inter-American Development Bank has a long history. From the Inter American Conferences starting in 1889, there was always some mention of such a bank's need. Yet, it was only when Castro took over Cuba that made the US move to begin the creation of the IADB. It also moved the Alliance for Progress with Kennedy. That was a time when the US led in many fields and the economy was thriving. Industrial policies had Latin America with over 6% GDP growth per annum, and optimism was generalized.


Since then, we have seen the illegal US intervention in Nicaragua with money from the drug trade put into weapons under the guidance of a White House officer, Oliver North. We also saw Grenada's invasion and later on the outright interference in Honduras, Paraguay, Brazil, and, more recently, Bolivia. Worse, we have seen US interference in Venezuela, forgetting what was agreed in 1889 in Washington at the end of the Inter American Conference: SOVEREIGNTY AND NO RIGHTS BY CONQUEST. The last were the repeated attempts against Venezuela over the past few years.


Evidently, for the Republicans, the concept of SOVEREIGNTY is meaningless. The principle of non-interference is that sovereign states shall not intervene in each other’s internal affairs. It was set as the general principle of international law in compliance with the principles of the UN Charter. The evidence shows SOVEREIGNTY only exists for the US that cannot follow international conventions because it violates its constitutional principles. That exceptional country then tramples all over the world in the name of corporate interests under the guise of freedom and democracy. This last, such as black people, have in the US. That is the only freedom and democracy Republicans seem to understand.


The Inter-American Development Bank is about to be intervened by an official from the US National Security Council at the call of the President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the Treasury with the blessing of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy with majority Democratic votes. The reason, no doubt, is the presence of China as a funder in Latin America. With equity of US$ 34 billion, it is a small multilateral bank. There is a co-financing fund with a capital contribution of US$2 billion from the Chinese government to finance alongside lending by the IADB for projects in "education, water conservancy, and energy." China finances big outside this institution.


Energy is the area where China has global leadership geared towards clean energy versus fossil fuel sponsored by the US. It financed several hydroelectric dams in Ecuador, for example. One argument why Democrats and Republicans would agree to intervene the IADB directly with an intelligence officer is to counter the Chinese influence in the energy sector specifically, like the Bolivian coup. The other reason is to finish the overthrow of uncomfortable Governments that are not aligned, strangling them financially and consolidating US power in the hemisphere.


What is remarkable is that the brains behind this believe Latin American countries' will borrow money from them. China will have a party with countries going to them for funds and joint ventures while others go to the CAF. Someone should have pointed out what happened to the World Bank and the IMF loan portfolios after their performance under Treasury's guidance in the not very far past. Remember when the IMF shook off its personnel in the 2000s? Remember when the WB was considered an ally of the wrong Governments? Someone should show the intelligence officer what happened to their loan portfolios. The initiative for a South American financial architecture did not drop out of the blue in the late 2000s.


The very Governments that were against having a regional South American financial architecture, in the spirit of Europe, Chiang Mai, and the Gulf, are willing to become one stitch closer to Washington. In turn, the US President has expressed his disdain to all those "Mexican countries." Bolsonaro does so out of gratitude. He was given the presidency of Brazil in exchange for the coup against Dilma and Lula. But all the rest? It must be the lowest point in over a century in Latin American diplomacy and the highest in US interventionism symbolized by the Group of Lima. It is also a clear sign it does not lead and must impose its will. The IADB presidential elections are a takeover that will result in Latin American countries not making further use of the bank and going to Chinese institutions for development resources. The head of Latin America for the National Security Council should have thought of that before.


Num.24, Año 2020, 11 de Agosto


- Oscar Ugarteche, Senior Researcher "C", IIEc-UNAM, Conacyt SNI III, Project Coordinator
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