Communist China and Russia setting up shop right in America’s backyard

While we’re busy looking at conflicts caused by China and Russia on the other side of the world, the two predatory regimes are setting up shop right in our own hemisphere. We cannot afford to ignore it.

Cuban American attorney and author Nestor Carbonell explains in National Review:

The U.S. Must Counter Chinese and Russian Penetration of Our Hemisphere

The U.S. is right to focus on critical hotspots such as Ukraine, Taiwan, and Iran. But it can no longer afford to ignore the dramatic inroads China and Russia have made in our own backyard.

The head of the Defense Department’s U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), General Laura Richardson, warned early last year that, “China continues its relentless march to expand economic, diplomatic, technological, informational, and military influence in LAC, and challenges U.S. influence in all those domains.”

China’s rising leadership in the region was evident last week at the Seventh Summit of CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States — a rival of the largely paralyzed Organization of American States. CELAC excludes the U.S., while embracing China under a formal banner known as China-CELAC Forum. In his video address to the Summit, President Xi Jinping proclaimed that in this time of “turbulence and transformation,” he wants to take the China-CELAC partnership to a “new era.”

His words, warmly applauded, carry significant weight. China has already become the top trade partner for South America. Even more important, it is rapidly advancing toward its goal of regional economic dominance within the next decade.

But trading is just one element of China’s influence. By including LAC in Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — an imperial global-infrastructure program — China has enabled its banks and state-owned companies to finance numerous deals.

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