South America: Scene of the Latest Biden Blunder
Over the last week, the world has witnessed the horror of the terrorist group Hamas invade Israel and kill innocent women and children, including young babies. Israel is now officially at war for the first time since 1973.
In the thirty-three months of the administration of President Joe Biden, Hamas has become emboldened. This is because their major benefactor, Iran, has been awash in cash. Hamas receives 70% of its funding from Iran, which also is the largest contributor to worldwide terrorism. Tragically, the Biden administration relaxed the enforcement of Iranian sanctions resulting in billions of dollars in additional revenue to the tyrannical regime.
While Donald Trump was president, Hamas and Russia did not invade any countries and the United States achieved significant peace deals in the Middle East, the Abraham Accords. Under Biden, there are two wars in progress and possibly a third one if China invades Taiwan.
With Joe Biden as president, not only has the United States become more dangerous, but the rest of the world has, too.
There is no better representation of that danger than our foremost enemy, China. This communist dictatorship has been making inroads throughout the world. Due to Chinese pressure and money, there are very few countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
One of those countries is Paraguay, led by President Santiago Pena, who won a big election victory in May. Pena is an economist and the country’s former finance minister. He studied at Columbia University in the United States and worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
He is considered a strong social and economic conservative and has vowed to attract international investment and job creation by maintaining the country’s low tax rates and implementing “business-friendly” policies. Pena will have quite a challenge dealing with the country 24% poverty rate and upset beef producers and farmers, who want stronger ties to the large markets in China.
During the campaign, Pena promised to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. His opponent wanted to abandon Taiwan and pursue closer relations with China.
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Pena recommended membership for Taiwan. He said Taiwan should be “an integral part of the United Nations system.” However, Taiwan has been excluded from the United Nations since 1971, as only the communist government, the People’s Republic, is recognized as the legitimate representative of China.
Paraguay is one of only 13 nations, and the sole South American country, to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The relationship was an issue in the election, along with the economy and corruption allegations involving the former president and leader of Pena’s Colorado Party, Horatio Cartes.
The U.S. State Department has accused Cartes, who served as president of Paraguay from 2013 to 2018, of “significant corruption” and ties to terrorism.
Pena, who is closely affiliated with Cartes, labeled the accusations “groundless.” At his victory celebration, Pena thanked Cartes for believing in him “when I had no political history, no political experience.”
Unfortunately, a classified document drafted by the U.S. State Department, and sent by the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay to the White House in July, was leaked to the Latin American news outlet, La Politica Online.
The report urges Pena to curb corruption and abandon his close ties to Cartes, and to seek closer cooperation with the United States government. In fact, the report calls Pena “a puppet” and includes the demand that Cartes “be weakened.”
Interestingly, Cartes and his aides, as well as local reporters, also received a copy of the supposedly secret document, entitled “Paraguay Interagency Integrated Anti-Corruption Action Plan.” The report was drafted with input from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Council (NSC).
Such classified information was not meant for public consumption, but alas, it was leaked on September 26. This infuriated Pena, resulting in the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry calling in U.S. ambassador Marc Ostfield for a meeting the next day.
Pena called the document a “personal attack” and claimed that it showed “a lack of respect” for Paraguay, “a country ... in tune with the great challenges at a global level ... the fight against corruption, equality, development.”
Who leaked the document? Will Pena choose the United States or his mentor? Undoubtedly, such tactics and aggressive involvement by the United States will be viewed negatively by both Pena and any citizens of Paraguay who want their country to retain their independence.
The leak is another embarrassment for the Biden administration. It is important to maintain positive relations with Paraguay as it continues its relationship with Taiwan and refuses entanglements with China. This threat was highlighted recently by the U.S. representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), who noted China’s “malignant influence in Latin America.”
Insulting a president and allowing a sensitive classified document to be leaked is not the best way to support Paraguay’s relationship with Taiwan.
In 2014, former defense secretary Robert Gates, who served in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, wrote that Joe Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
This history of failure has continued unabated and is reflected in the Biden administration. Whether it is his administration’s policy toward Iran or the bungling of our relationship with the president of Paraguay, the result is not beneficial for the United States.
The losers are the American people, who will hopefully be rescued from this administration on January 20, 2025.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian, and his award-winning program “Ringside Politics,” airs Saturdays from noon until 1 P.M. C.T. nationally on Real America's Voice TV Network & AmericasVoice.News and weekdays 7–11 A.M. C.T. on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, is the author of America's Last Chance, and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at email@example.com.