President López Obrador refused to attend the Summit of the Americas after the US failed to invite Cuba, Nicaragua or the representatives of the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. The summit acts as a hub for information and conversations, bolstering accountability for commitments previously adopted.
Now on its ninth edition, the Summit of the Americas will take place in Los Angeles. As host of the event, the US announced that Cuba, Nicaragua and representatives of the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela would not be invited to attend, stating that it would only invite governments that follow democratic practices. Following this announcement, a bloc of leftist countries met in Havana and condemned these actions. “We repudiate the exclusions and discriminatory treatment at the so-called Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles,” claimed the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), which includes Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Nicaragua, Santa Lucía, Surinam, San Vicente, and las Granadinas, Granada and San Cristobal and Nieves.
So far, 13 of the 14 countries of the Caribbean Community, of which Cuba is not a member, are planning to attend the Los Angeles meeting, according to Reuters. Mexico, however, has stood up against these exclusions. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced he would not attend the summit unless all countries were invited and assured at his morning conference that he would defend his position of inviting all the countries of the continent to the Summit despite their political differences, as reported by MBN. Since the beginning of the year, tension was expected between the US government and Mexico due to the possibility that the Biden administration would refuse to invite the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the Summit of the Americas.
“With all due respect, I proposed to President Biden that if there is going to be a Summit of the Americas, all countries must participate, that no one should exclude anyone, everyone, everyone, everyone. If someone is not invited, a delegation of the Mexican government will go, but I will not. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will represent me,” said López Obrador during his morning press conference.
By refusing to go to the summit, López Obrador reinforces criticism against his government for having leftist tendencies and also limits the country from the benefits of attending. He is also prevented from giving his input on issues such as social inclusion, economic recovery, climate change, democracy and digital transformation.