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Brazil backs U.S. candidate for Inter-American Development Bank

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s right-wing government on Wednesday welcomed the nomination of a U.S. candidate for president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), which has always been headed by a Latin American since its founding in 1959.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on Tuesday that the United States intends to nominate Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American lawyer and U.S. government official, to succeed the IADB’s current president Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia on Sept. 30.

Brazilian support for the Trump Administration’s nominee all but ensures that Argentina’s candidate, Gustavo Beliz, who had the backing of Mexico’s leftist government, will be knocked out of the running.

The United States is the BID’s largest shareholder with 30% of the voting rights, and Brazil has another 11.3% voting power.

Claver-Carone, an advocate for maintaining a tough economic embargo on communist-run Cuba, is currently director of the National Security Council for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

“The Brazilian government welcomed the announcement of the U.S. government’s firm commitment to the future of the IADB through the North American candidacy for president of the institution,” Brazil’s Economy and Foreign Relations ministries said in a joint statement.

The statement said Brazil and the United States share the same values of defense of democracy, economic freedom and the rule of law, and Brazil backs a “new management” for the bank that follows those values.

Claver-Carone, who served as the U.S. Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018, was a board member of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC that worked for a democratic transition in Cuba while supporting the economic embargo against the island. He has also been a prominent critic of Venezuela’s leftist government.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio