Dismissed IDB president: who is Mauricio Claver-Carone

The IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) yesterday (26) fired its president, Mauricio Claver-Carone, after an investigation concluded that he had an intimate relationship with an employee, disregarding the institution’s rules.

He had previously denied the allegations, criticizing the investigation for not “meeting international standards of integrity”.

According to the Financial Times, the independent consultancy by the law firm Davis Polk concluded that Claver-Carone had a relationship with the woman previously and that he had violated the bank’s policies by taking actions to benefit her in the organization.

Among the clues collected by the consultancy, are “excessive” costs of hotel nights on official trips with the employee, and retaliation to members of the IDB who reported the relationship between the two.

The bank’s executive vice president, Reina Irene Mejia of Honduras, has assumed the presidency temporarily until a successor is chosen.

Trump’s name for Latino development bank. American lawyer of Cuban descent, Claver-Carone reached the post of head of the main source of financing for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean, breaking with the tradition of Latinos occupying the position.

The IDB, created in 1959 by the OAS (Organization of American States), had four presidents before Claver-Carone: Chilean Felipe Herrera (1960-1970), Mexican Antonio Ortiz girl (1970-1988), Uruguayan Enrique churches (1988-2005), and Luis Alberto Moreno (2005-2020), from Colombia.

Before being appointed, Mauricio Claver-Carone He was a White House national security adviser to former US President Donald Trump. He was known for his strong opposition to Havana and Venezuela.

His election, in September 2020, received 67% of shareholder votes and the support of 23 of the 28 countries in the region. At the time, it was seen as a victory for Trump, but it generated criticism: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and trinidad and Tobago abstained from voting.

Position in relation to China. One of the misgivings about Claver-Carone was how he would view China in the IDB, especially since Trump had strong anti-Beijing rhetoric. For Latin America, Claver-Carone’s plans included “Pan-Americanism”, according to an interview given to AFP after he took office.

“China plays an important role in international trade, but it is a country far from the Americas and totally controlled by a state. Therefore, what we seek is to fulfill the dream of Pan-Americanism, which has existed since before China was an economic power. China will never supplant the relationship between the countries of the Americas, but it will fill the existing gaps. And this is valid competitively! We cannot be angry with China for that, but with ourselves for having left the vacuum”, he argued.

Tension with Argentina. The economic situation in Argentina was one of the most tense issues in Claver-Carone’s administration vis-à-vis the IDB.

The country accused the bank of having frozen US$ 600 million since Alberto Fernández, Argentine president, questioned the management of the IDB during the Summit of the Americas in June.

The Bank, in turn, stated that it could not approve new funds if the country did not meet its commitments to improve its macroeconomic conditions.

In a letter to the editor published by the Wall Street Journal, Mauricio Claver-Carone stated that the bank had a “duty to help members like Argentina”, but would also be “looking forward to Argentina fulfilling its commitments to the IMF (International Monetary Fund)”. to improve macroeconomic conditions”.

Argentina, which faces a scenario of high inflation and currency at historic lows against the dollar, already has a US$ 44 billion agreement with the IMF.

*With information from AFP and Reuters

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