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Mexican president officially quits US-led summit

AMLO will skip the Summit of the Americas because of the snub of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has confirmed he will not attend the US-led Summit of the Americas, opting to skip the event due to his refusal to host the leaders of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba . He announced on Monday that he would send Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in his place.

I’m not going to the Summit because not all countries are invitedsaid AMLO at a press conference on Monday. He had warned Washington for weeks that he would pull out if all countries in the region were not allowed to attend, and instead planned to visit communities damaged by a recent hurricane.

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The Mexican leader did not blame only US President Joe Biden for Washington’s decision not to invite the three leftist nations, calling the US leader “a good manand acknowledging themany pressures from the Republicans and especially from certain leaders of the Republican Party and also of the Democratic Party who have something to do with the Cuban community in Florida and the United States.”

AMLO is not the only leader to decline Washington’s invitation due to ideological differences. Honduran President Xiomara Castro said Saturday she would stay home and send Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to Los Angeles instead.

The Honduran snub alludes to years of diplomatic tensions between Tegucigalpa and Washington. While U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was the guest of honor at Castro’s inauguration, the Obama administration — particularly Hillary Clinton’s State Department — backed the 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted Castro’s husband, Manuel Zelaya, triggering years of gross human rights abuses while Biden looked the other way as vice president along with the rest of Obama’s cabinet. After Castro’s inauguration, the United States extradited his predecessor, his former ally Juan Orlando Hernandez, to stand trial on federal drug charges, likely turning the page on relations between the two countries.

Bolivian President Luis Arce warned last month that he would also not attend the Summit of the Americas unless the “exclusion of brotherly peoplesin Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba has come to an end. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez had also denounced the US snub to the three left-leaning countries and planned to skip the summit until he received a personal phone call from Biden.

Even Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the antithesis of a leftist leader, had publicly said he would not be at the top until the White House promised a bilateral meeting with the US president.

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And although Chilean President Gabriel Boric has not announced his intention to skip the summit, he called the decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua “Mistake” and one “mistakeon Monday, arguing that by leaving them out, the United States was “thus reinforcing the position that these other countries take in their own country.

The Summit of the Americas kicks off Monday in Los Angeles. An unnamed official confirmed to Reuters that the Biden administration made the final decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The three nations were referred to by Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton as the “troika of terrorin an apparent effort to rekindle the enthusiasm of Washington’s allies to level tough sanctions against its socialist neighbors.

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