Trump National Security Official Eyed for Latin America Bank Job

Eric Martin and Ben Bartenstein

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s administration is considering nominating a top official on the National Security Council for the No. 2 job at the Inter-American Development Bank, according to two people familiar with the process.

Mauricio Claver-Carone, the senior director of the NSC for Western Hemisphere Affairs, is being considered for the executive vice president’s job at the IDB, as the Washington-based lender is known. John Scott, a career employee of the bank, is serving in the job on an interim basis after Brian O’Neill, who started in the position in January 2019, died in December.

The bank is the top development institution dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean, providing loans and technical assistance to countries in a region with chronic infrastructure and economic shortages. By tradition, the president of the multilateral lender comes from one of the Latin American countries, with the U.S. choosing its executive vice president.

The press office of the IDB declined to comment and referred questions to the U.S. Treasury Department. Treasury didn’t respond to a request for comment. Claver-Carone and a spokesman at the NSC declined to comment.

Read More: Mexico Plans to Back Argentina in Race to Lead the IAD Bank

Claver-Carone, one of the Trump administration’s staunchest critics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, has played a key role in shaping U.S. policy toward the South American nation since he began his current job a year and a half ago. That included rallying international support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido and dialing up sanctions against the Maduro regime.

Claver-Carone, a Cuban American, ideally would like to stay at the NSC until Maduro leaves power, according to a person familiar with his thinking. But it isn’t clear if and when that might happen, nor how soon the IDB job needs to be filled. Claver-Carone previously served as the U.S. executive director for the International Monetary Fund, leading support for a $56 billion loan to Argentina under President Mauricio Macri. Before that, he was a senior adviser for international affairs at the Treasury Department.

The IDB also will choose its next president this year. The current leader, Luis Alberto Moreno, a former Colombian ambassador to the U.S., was first elected in 2005 and re-elected twice. The next head will start a five-year term in October after a selection process scheduled to start in coming months. Argentina is expected to nominate Gustavo Beliz, President Alberto Fernandez’s secretary for strategic affairs, with support from Mexico.

To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net;Ben Bartenstein in New York at bbartenstei3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, ;Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net, Robert Jameson

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