The Mexican president has declined US President Joe Biden’s invitation to attend his Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this month, saying he will not attend because not all countries in the region were invited.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Monday he will skip the summit because the White House failed to invite representatives from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The three countries, according to a senior US official, were excluded from the summit after much deliberation, because of human rights concerns and lack of democracy in each.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department said of the decision “one of the key elements of this summit is democratic governance, and these countries are not exemplars, to put it mildly.”
President Lopez Obrador will send Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to the summit in his place, and Lopez Obrador will visit with Biden in July instead. During his July visit, he says he plans to discuss immigration as well as the level of US involvement in Central America that specifically addresses the issues that spur mass migration.
The decision of the Mexican president not to attend Biden’s summit is the latest blow to the president’s efforts to strengthen relations between the United States and Central and South American countries.
US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said in a statement after Lopez Obrador’s announcement, “In this, the bicentennial of the U.S.-Mexico diplomatic relationship, our bilateral relations only grow stronger,” and added that he looked forward to Ebrard’s contributions to the summit.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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