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AMLO Vows to Skip Summit of the Americas If Cuba Is Snubbed

The US government hasn’t invited the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the region’s top political gathering, saying the leaders of these three countries don’t respect democracy

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico's president, speaks during a joint press conference with Nayib Bukele, El Salvador's president, not pictured, at the Presidential House in San Salvador.
By Max de Haldevang and Maya Averbuch
May 10, 2022 | 10:18 am

Bloomberg — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he won’t attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next month if all Latin American leaders aren’t invited, in a challenge to the Biden administration.

The US government hasn’t invited the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the region’s top political gathering, saying the leaders of these three countries don’t respect democracy. Lopez Obrador, who maintains good diplomatic relationships with these left-leaning governments and was in Havana meeting with Cuban authorities this past weekend, said their inclusion is necessary to broaden the discussions at the event.

“We are looking for the unity of all of America and we feel there shouldn’t be confrontation, that even with our differences we have to have dialog and be brotherly,” Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, said of the meeting to be held in early June. “We’re trying to resolve this matter. We have a very good relationship with President Biden’s government and we want everyone to be invited.”

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Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard would represent Mexico in the Summit if the Biden administration doesn’t accept his request, Lopez Obrador said.

During a tour across Central America and the Caribbean, AMLO said Sunday he wants the US to lift economic sanctions on Cuba as they hampers the communist island’s development. The continent should work on developing an association similar to the European Union, he said, and called on the Organization of American States to be substituted by a truly “autonomous” entity that mediates human rights and democracy issues.