In the picture
Arrival in El Salvador in March 2021 of vaccines processed by the UN COVAX mechanism [PAHO].
End' of Covid returns security to pre-pandemic schemes
The past year has been one of reactivation in the different socio-economic spheres, after the great paralysis of activity in 2020. The gradual normality that countries achieved throughout 2021 also meant a gradual return to the usual security dynamics throughout the Americas. While the early stages of the 'vaccine diplomacy' developed by China and Russia gave an initial prominence to these extra-hemispheric powers, the progress of vaccination programmes thanks to a large contribution of 'Western' vaccines detracted from the geopolitical game that, as 2022 began, has brought the conflict in Ukraine back to the table.
Focused on their domestic affairs, absorbed by efforts to overcome successive waves of Covid-19, Latin American countries saw their security issues return to pre-pandemic patterns in 2021, even aggravated: in Venezuela an 'armed conflict' emerged with characteristics more akin to Colombia; in Chile the Mapuche problem festered with radical groups calling for 'armed struggle' and the deployment of the army; in Haiti general insecurity went as far as assassination; and the Dominican Republic opted to build a border wall in an attempt to isolate itself from Haitian problems. In drug trafficking, which did not cease during the confinement, it is also possible to speak of increased normality: overdose deaths in the US reached a new record high, following the increase in the production of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in Mexico.
Undoubtedly the most disruptive aspect of subjectsecurity and defence at the global level was the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. As a result of this crisis, Cuba has once again prioritised its relationship with Russia, given the lack of signals from Washington - which were sent to Venezuela - of any subjectof awardto avoid a close alignment with Moscow. But a full look at the consequences of this war on the American continent can be found at reportnext year.
Emili J. Blasco, director of the Center for Global Affairs & Strategic Studies