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News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. March 7, 2024: As President Joe Biden delivered his highly anticipated State of the Union address tonight, Democratic voters found satisfaction in various highlighted topics. However, the Caribbean and Latin America once again found themselves overlooked in the US President’s speech.

US President Joe Biden, during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 7, 2024. made no mention of the Caribbean or Latin America. Photographer: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI- MARCH 07: People People set tires on fire during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry as Haiti’s government extended on Thursday the nighttime curfew and state of emergency in the capital of Port-au-Prince for a month amid a wave of violence unleashed by armed groups in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on March 07, 2024. An initial three-day curfew was announced over the weekend, but gangs have continued attacking police stations and other official institutions, which has the police besieged and outnumbered to combat the armed gangs. According to official figures, a dozen police buildings have been attacked. (Photo by Guerinault Louis/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Despite addressing a range of domestic and international issues, including those of local importance, critical concerns such as the escalating turmoil in Haiti, Venezuela’s aggressive actions towards Guyana, and the deepening economic woes in Latin and Central America leading to the migrant crisis at the US’ Southern border, remained unmentioned, prompting observers to question the administration’s priorities.

In Haiti, where protests and violence have erupted following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse amidst allegations of political corruption, Biden’s silence was notable. The situation continues to worsen, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis fueled by political instability and economic challenges. This as the current Haiti PM, Ariel Henri remains locked out of the country and Haitian leaders in South Florida call on the US to stop the flow of weapons to Haiti and support and heed the calls of the Haitian people for a transitional government that would be leading to more security and eventually a path to free election and democracy in Haiti.

Similarly, Venezuela’s recent moves to claim Essequibo in Guyana raised alarms across the region. Despite the significant threat to regional stability posed by Venezuela’s sovereignty claims over a portion of Guyana’s territory, Biden’s address lacked any acknowledgment of the issue or plans to address it.

Moreover, economic struggles in many Latin and Central American countries have driven a surge in migration towards the US border. Poverty, unemployment, and political unrest have forced many to seek refuge elsewhere, yet the Biden administration failed to address this crisis in its State of the Union speech, underscoring a concerning disregard for the plight of the US’ southern neighbors.

Critics argue that the absence of substantive mention of the Americas in Biden’s speech reflects a broader neglect of the region’s challenges by US administrations. As the United States grapples with domestic issues and global responsibilities, the need for constructive engagement and support for the Caribbean and Latin America grows more urgent.

While Biden outlined ambitious domestic initiatives and reaffirmed international alliances during his address, the glaring omission of pressing concerns in the Americas raises questions about the administration’s commitment to its southern neighbors.

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