President López Obrador announced Monday that he won’t attend this week’s Summit of the Americas because all nations of the region weren’t invited, making good on a threat he made last month.
The United States government, which is hosting the June 6-10 regional meeting, decided against inviting Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua due to the lack of democracy and respect for human rights in those countries, according to U.S. sources who spoke with the Bloomberg news agency.
López Obrador said in early May that he wouldn’t attend the Los Angeles summit if any nation was excluded, declaring that “even with our differences, we have to have dialogue” and that countries must treat each other in a “brotherly” way.
He confirmed his decision at his regular news conference on Monday morning. “About the summit, you can now inform Mexico that I’m not going to attend,” López Obrador told reporters.
“… I’m not going to the summit because all the countries of America aren’t invited,” he said.
The president said that Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard would represent him at the event before revealing that he would meet with United States President Joe Biden in July.
“I’m going to go and see him at the White House and I want to talk with him about the issue of the integration of all of America,” he said.
López Obrador reiterated his proposal for all Western Hemisphere nations to band together in a European Union-style bloc.
“But this will mean a change in politics, leaving confrontation, hate, threats, blockades and interference behind and choosing fraternity, a good neighbors policy,” he said.
López Obrador claimed that the United States’ decision not to invite the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the ninth Summit of the Americas was part of an “old policy of interventionism.”
“I believe in the need to change the policy that has been imposed for centuries – exclusion, wanting to dominate without any reason, not respecting the sovereignty of countries, the independence of each country,” he said.
“There can’t be a Summit of the Americas if all the countries of the American continent don’t participate, or there can be but we believe that [hosting a meeting without all Western Hemisphere nations] is to continue with the old policy of interventionism, of lack of respect for nations and their people,” López Obrador said.
“I really regret this situation. … I don’t accept anyone positioning themselves above [other] countries. I don’t accept hegemonies from China, Russia or the United States. All countries, as small as they may be, are free and independent,” he said.
Writing in the newspaper Reforma, United States-based Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos renewed his criticism of López Obrador for expressing support for the “dictators” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, who he charged are “at the front of machineries created to murder, torture and do everything possible to remain in power.”
“… Cozying up to and speaking for the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela – as the president of Mexico has done – is a mistake; it’s to turn … [his] back on the thousands of victims of those dictatorships. AMLO had the option to choose the dictators or their people. And he preferred the tyrants,” he wrote.
“… The Summit of the Americas is the meeting of a club of democracies. Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela aren’t democracies. There’s no reason to give their dictators the same recognition as legitimately elected presidents,” Ramos asserted.
“… There is nothing more shameful than sticking up for tyrants. … I don’t understand why López Obrador is doing the dirty work for the continent’s worst leaders. He chose the wrong side of history,” he wrote.
Ramos last month criticized the president for insisting that the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua be invited to this week’s regional meeting.
“What he’s asking is that thugs, torturers, censors and oppressors … be invited to the party,” he tweeted.
With reports from Reforma