- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2022

Former Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut will be President Biden‘s new point man on relations with countries of North and South America, the State Department announced Friday.

The administration has struggled to fulfill early hopes of improving ties with Central and Latin America, as events in Ukraine and East Asia have taken precedence over the past two years. A number of left-leaning governments have taken power in the hemisphere, and relations under Mr. Biden with regimes such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba remain tense.

China has challenged the U.S. as a major investor in South America, and illegal immigration from countries across the region has reached record levels since Mr. Biden took office.

Mr. Dodd, who took a lead role as the administration hosted the Summit of the Americas in June in Los Angeles, will be “special presidential advisor for the Americas,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“Senator Dodd will help advance the implementation of key initiatives President Biden announced at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, spanning economic cooperation, migration, health, human rights, food security, as well as other priorities” while helping coordinate work in the hemisphere between the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, USAID and other agencies.

Mr. Dodd served in the Senate from 1981 to 2011, working many of those years alongside then-Sen. Joe Biden. A one-time Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, he served for a time as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Western Hemisphere subcommittee while on Capitol Hill.

• David R. Sands can be reached at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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