Mauricio Claver-Carone, the newly-elected president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has vowed to secure more money for the lender and pull the region out of the economic doldrums.
The former Donald Trump adviser says that under his leadership the IDB will collaborate with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help Latin America get a larger share of the financial aid provided to countries in distress.
Claver-Carone, who has won the backing of 23 of the 28 countries in the election, will replace Luis Alberto Moreno, a former Colombian ambassador to the US, and lead the bank in the next five years.
Some countries in the region (Cuba and Venezuela in particular) are worried by his election, as he is a known critic of socialist policies.
Claver-Carone is not an economic illiterate. He previously worked at the Treasury Department and represented the United States in the IMF. But he is taking over the job at a time the region is going through its worst financial crisis.
Moreover, analysts say, Latin America needs structural reforms, rather than loans, to achieve an economic recovery.
The region is already heavily indebted. Analysts say the pandemic would increase Latin America’s foreign debt by at least 20% over the next 18 months.
One of Claver-Carone’s goals is to persuade American manufacturers to shift their factories from China to Latin America. It is an ambitious project and requires Donald Trump to remain in the White House even after the November presidential elections.