Mexico and Columbia, led by a former rebel leader, Guadalupe Victoria, then President of the independent Mexican Republic, wanted to mount an expedition to drive the last vestiges of Spanish imperialism from the hemisphere. The American President, Clay, and his foreign ministers scrambled to defuse the threat. Clay did not believe that the Mexican and Columbian coalition could defend the islands if they liberated them. He was convinced that the British could easily seize them even though that European power disclaimed any interest. Britain argued that it was already overtaxed maintaining its existing empire.
The American delegation was sent to disrupt the Latin American Congress, but the two members had no chance to derail the proceedings. One died en route and the other tarried so long that the Congress concluded before he arrived. America's fear of any change in Latin American affairs was assuaged by Mexico and Columbia who held out against Bolivar's ambitious plan.