Joe Biden’s Visit to Guatemala

Barack Obama has decided that Vice President Joe Biden will visit Guatemala at the beginning of March and meet with the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras with a view to promoting the Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle. The United State is seeking to create economic and institutional development opportunities so that the citizens of the three Central American countries have no need to immigrate to the United States in search of a better economic future.

Obama feels that investing $1 billion will help the region considerably. For the United States, this is a rather modest investment in relative economic terms, although in practical terms, it may help to mitigate undocumented migration and its effects. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will oversee the technical coordination of the Plan. However, it is important to correctly determine what is needed in these countries, as the funds must be put to good use, and it is essential that we avoid what happened in the past, when the donations ended up in private hands and were ultimately wasted without having any effect on national and social life.

Therefore, first and foremost, it is important to determine the economic activities on which this U.S. investment could have a social impact. Secondly, the respective governments must not be allowed to disperse the funds and, thirdly, neither should the traditional private sectors have access to these resources. The reason for this is that they have other priorities and will not utilize the resources in the interest of the people. It would be more appropriate for the funds to be distributed through cooperatives or foreign companies outside the Northern Triangle markets. Doing so would see that the appropriate action was taken; the necessary economic activities would be developed for the people and the likelihood that the resources would be lost to corruption would be significantly lower.

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