MEXICO CITY “The Mexican president said Tuesday he would not attend next month’s US summit in Los Angeles if the Biden administration excludes Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, adding his voice to growing warnings of a boycott by some leaders in the region.”
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said in recent weeks that the US government should not exclude anyone from the summit, but he has not threatened to stay at home before.
“If they are expelled, if not everyone is invited, a representative of the Mexican government will go, but I would not want to,” Lopez Obrador told a daily news conference shortly after visiting Cuba. He said his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, would leave.
The absence of the Mexican president would be a blow to the summit, which is expected to seriously address the issue of migration on the US-Mexico border. The Biden administration has been working for months to build a regional consensus. Cabinet members are visiting the region, urging their allies to tighten immigration controls and expand their asylum programs.
“Our goal is … to sign a regional declaration on migration and protection in June in Los Angeles, when the United States will host the North and South American Summit,” President Joe Biden said in March, when he hosted the president. of Colombia Ivan Duque in the White House.
He called for “a new framework for how nations across the region can collectively manage migration in the Western Hemisphere”.
Such cooperation will be crucial as the United States tackles the large number of migrants arriving at its southern border and prepares to lift the restriction on asylum applications there later this month, which is expected to attract even more migrants to the north.
But Caribbean leaders also discussed a collective boycott of the summit if the nations are excluded, and criticized the US plan to invite Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. The United States recognizes him as the country’s legitimate president, but many Caribbean countries do not.
“We do not believe in the policy of ostracizing Cuba and Venezuela. We do not recognize Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela. In these circumstances, Antigua and Barbuda will not participate, “said Prime Minister Gaston Brown.
He said a consensus to boycott the summit if the countries are excluded emerged from the Caribbean foreign ministers’ meeting in Belize in March, “but I’m not sure if the consensus will be reached.”
St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonçalves had a similar view: “If Guido goes to represent Venezuela, if the Americans do, it will be an act of stupidity,” Gonçalves told a radio program over the weekend, saying St. Vincent could not attend if the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro will be expelled.
Cuba is an active member of the Caribbean Commonwealth of Nations, and the communist-run island has provided thousands of free scholarships to Caribbean medical, engineering and other students since the mid-1970s. Successive Venezuelan governments have helped Caribbean countries with prefabricated housing and cheap oil.
A senior Biden administration official said the rebate was largely in response to strong diplomatic pressure from Cuba – a perpetual touchstone for the Latin American left – and that the United States expects few leaders to follow threats to miss the summit.
Behind the scenes, several Caribbean leaders have signaled plans to attend, according to an anonymous spokesman, to discuss private diplomatic communications.
The official said both Lopez Obrador and Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro were expected to attend.
Cuba was excluded from the first six hemisphere summits from 1994 to 2012. But Cuba was invited to the 2015 Panama summit after growing threats to boycott left-wing Latin American leaders if excluded – as well as thawing of relations with the United States under President Barack Obama, who met with Cuban leader Raul Castro at the event.
Cuba was also invited to the last summit in Peru in 2018, but President Donald Trump was not present
Argentina, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, also called this month to avoid excluding any governments.
In a tweet, he called the summit “a great opportunity to build a meeting space involving all countries in the hemisphere” and called on organizers to avoid exceptions that hinder dialogue and hearing all voices in the hemisphere. ”
Lopez Obrador left open the possibility of attending if the Biden administration invited all parties. He noted that previous summits have not ruled out any countries, and blamed the current situation on US political minorities who support “hostile policies”.
“There is still time until the summit and we can reach an agreement, but we must all unite, seek the unity of America,” he said.
Goodman reported from Cleveland, Ohio. AP writer Burt Wilkinson contributed to this story from Georgetown, Guyana.
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The Mexican president has threatened to miss the America’s summit
Source link The Mexican president has threatened to miss the America’s summit