Testing tradition, Trump taps US official to lead Latin bank

The Treasury Department said Mauricio Claver-Carone could provide unique leadership that will help Latin America and the Caribbean overcome the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to plunge the region into one of its worst economic crises in decades. “The IDB is at a critical juncture as the region faces growing challenges to economic growth and sustainable development, particularly in light of the global pandemic,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. Claver-Carone, now the National Security Council's senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs, is the main architect of the Trump administration's policy of “maximum pressure” on Venezuelan President Nicol├ís Maduro and leftist allies Cuba and Nicaragua — what his one-time boss, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, called the “troika of tyranny.” In an interview, Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American attorney, said that in recent weeks, several presidents and officials in the region with whom he is in daily contact urged him to take the exceptional step of running for the bank's top job because they want the U.S. to help mobilize capital and investment so the region recovers swiftly from the coronavirus pandemic. He also vowed to reform the bank to impose term limits for all future presidents to reflect the region's own evolving democratic norms.