The Summit of the Americas, now being held in Los Angeles, U.S., is facing criticism from different countries participating in the summit.
Media reports including reports by teleSUR said:
The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, deplored that all countries were not invited to the 9th Summit of the Americas.
Argentina’s President was addressing the summit as the president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).
“I regret that not all of us who should have been present in this environment so conducive to the debate have been present,” he said Thursday during the opening plenary meeting.
Inequitable Financial Rules Questioned
Fernández questioned, “the global order” in which “the central world has set evidently inequitable financial rules” and referred to the blockade that Cuba has endured “for more than six decades as a result of the Cold War years.”
“Venezuela tolerates another one, while a pandemic that devastates humanity drags with it millions of lives,” he expressed.
The South American leader assumed that “with measures of this type they seek to condition governments” and insisted that he would have liked to attend “another summit of the Americas.”
“The silence of those who are absent questions us,” he said, following the U.S. decision not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the summit.
The Argentine president observed that “in order for it not to happen again,” the host country of the Summit of the Americas should not confer “the ability to impose the right of admission on the member countries of the continent.”
Fernandez invited his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, to “open up in a fraternal manner in pursuit of common interests.”
Addressing the Democratic leader, the Prsident of Argentina emphasized that the administration that preceded him “established an immensely harmful policy for our region.”
OAS Faces Question
Fernandez questioned the role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the coup d’état in Bolivia.
In addition, “the actions of rapprochement with Cuba, in which Pope Francis mediated, were thwarted,” he said.
Therefore, “a single thought cannot be imposed in a world that demands symphonic harmony in the face of the existing dramas,” he insisted.
The Summit of the Americas, which was established in 1994 and is usually convened every three years, except for the previous edition, which took place in 2018, is the only meeting that, in principle, brings together the 35 heads of state of the countries of the Americas, members of the OAS.
Mexico Vows Re-founding OAS
The Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, urged the formation of a working group to present a project for the re-foundation of the organization.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, commented on Wednesday at the Summit of the Americas that the role played by the OAS is exhausted, explaining that a re-foundation of this organization is necessary.
According to the Mexican Foreign Minister, the OAS has played a shameful role in the recent coup d’état in Bolivia, which took place in 2019.
He highlighted the fact that the organization has imposed sanctions on countries in the region in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and remarked on its actions before the health situation.
The Foreign Minister considers it hard to believe that at this point, the blockade against Cuba, one of the nations excluded from the summit, remains in effect. “It is evident that the Organization of American States and its way of acting are exhausted in the face of that reality,” he said, adding that the Mexican proposal is to form a working group to present “the project for the re-foundation of the inter-American order.”
Exclusion Is A Serious Mistake
Ebrard emphasized the position of the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on the exclusion of Venezuela and Nicaragua from the multilateral forum. “We consider this to be a serious mistake and that no one has the right to exclude another. We do not accept the principle of intervention to unilaterally define who comes and who does not come,” he continued to say.
The Mexican official commented on his hope that the White House is moving towards another type of relationship with the region. However, he emphasized that his government’s relationship with the U.S. President Joe Biden continues to be positive.
“Because of the new reality, the proposal that Mexico wishes to make and submit to you, is that we form a working group to present the project of re-founding the inter-American order because if we have been discussing the same thing for ten years, we have not solved it and everything urges us to solve it,” said the head of diplomacy before a regional forum of ministers.
Ebrard pointed out that the terms of the discussion are stuck at the same point as ten years ago in reference to the 2012 Summit held in the Colombian city of Cartagena, in which it was concluded that it should be stated in the final declaration that all nations should be invited when the country excluded was Cuba.
Nonintervention And Sovereignty of Peoples
An earlier teleSUR report said:
“No country has the right to impose on another how to govern itself,” the Mexican Foreign Minister said, noting that AMLO decided not to attend the Summit of the Americas under this position.
At a press conference before traveling to the U.S., the Mexican FM said, “the principle we defend here is that all countries should be invited, and no country has the right to impose on another how to govern itself: it is called non-intervention and self-determination of peoples and respect for the other.”
The U.S. decided not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the summit, accusing their governments of not respecting the Democratic Charter of the Americas. In this respect, Ebrard said that “all the countries invited voted against the blockade of Cuba except the U.S. That is to say, [it is] 60 years of suffering and stubbornness.”
U.S. Intends To Change Regime In Cuba
The minister said that the U.S. intends to change the political regime with its embargo on Cuba. “The final calculation is to blockade Cuba so that the people rise up and change the government. Mexico has simply never agreed with that; all countries are against [the economic embargo] except the U.S.,” he said.
According to Ebrard, Mexico allocates a budget of some US$100 million annually intended to subsidize 20,000 jobs in El Salvador; 40,000 in Honduras; another 20,000 in Guatemala; 2,000 in Belize; and 5,000 in Cuba.
Regarding the message to be taken to the summit, Ebrard said that “we are going to insist that the U.S. decides to invest in the scale of its economy” to contain migratory flows. “The U.S. economy is 21 times bigger than Mexico’s. We are investing more or less 100 million dollars; we are talking about an [U.S.] investment that could be between 2 and 3 billion dollars,” the minister said.
Belize Calls Venezuela and Cuba’s Veto at Summit “Inexcusable”
On Thursday, the Prime Minister of Belize and current president of Caricom, John Briceño, described it as “incomprehensible and unforgivable” Washington’s decision not to invite Venezuela and Cuba to the Summit of the Americas as incomprehensible and unforgivable.
In his speech during the first plenary session and in front of U.S. President Joe Biden, Briceño said, “the summit belongs to all the Americas.”
“It is incomprehensible that we isolate countries of the Americas that have provided strong leadership and have contributed in the hemisphere on critical issues of our times,” he stressed.
Cuba’s Constant Cooperation In Health Sector
He stressed that “Cuba has provided constant cooperation in health to two-thirds of the countries in this hemisphere, including Belize.”
“The illegal blockade against Cuba is an affront against humanity. The time has come, Mr. President, to lift the blockade,” he added, addressing Biden, standing a few meters away.
As for Venezuela, the Belizean prime minister said that the country “has done much for energy security in the Caribbean region,” and its absence from the summit is “unforgivable.”
“The Summit of the Americas should have been inclusive. Geography and not politics define the Americas,” he asserted in his tough speech.
The countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), currently led by Briceño, hesitated until the last moment whether to boycott the summit in protest of the absences of Cuba and Venezuela.
Finally, some countries such as Belize, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Guyana decided to attend, while other Caricom members are not participating.
In his speech, Briceño urged a commitment to “build an America with social justice” and said that “a turning point” had been reached on many issues.
Among them, he cited the vulnerability of Caribbean countries to climate change, debt crises and vaccination against covid-19.
The Prime Minister of Belize called for the Summit of the Americas, which concluded on Friday, to have positive results: “With firm commitments, we can move forward.”
Dominica’s PM Rejects U.S. Blockade Against Cuba
At the Summit of the Americas, the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, called for an end to the blockade against Cuba.
Noting that such policy disrespects Cuban people’s rights, the head of the Government appealed to those present to rally to his call against the blockade and the inclusion of Cuba on the list of states sponsoring terrorism.
“Given Cuba’s trajectory and history of extraordinary humanitarianism, I invite this community to join me to call for the end of the blockade against the Government and People of Cuba, and the end of the unjust inclusion of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism,” Skerrit said.
Regarding Washington’s decision to exclude Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from the summit, accusing them of not respecting the Democratic Charter of the Americas, the Prime Minister of Dominica denounced that by doing so, the U.S. distorted the meeting’s mission, which is meant to build and promote democracy in the Americas.
“As regional leaders, we must promote inclusion, justice, common purpose, peace and prosperity. We must do so through genuine regional conversations and cooperative action,” Skerrit said.
The PM of Dominica called on the government of the U.S., the host of the Summit of the Americas, to make this a serious and transformative event that helps the region’s development.
He advocated for the inclusion of the leaders of every country in the continent. He said that under the Inter-American Charter, the right of countries to self-determination and sovereignty is recognized. This is one of the documents that guide the OAS.
In this sense, Skerrit affirmed that sovereignty and cooperation among the region’s states could only be fostered by respecting differences in their political, economic, and social systems without interfering in each other’s internal affairs.
Poor Attendance Clouds The U.S.-Hosted Summit
On Monday, the Summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden got off to a rough start after several Latin American countries refused to participate in a gathering that excluded Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. This refusal marks a milestone in the continent’s multilateral diplomacy.
“It’s time to change the dominant political practice,” Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) told a daily press conference on Monday, confirming his absence from the summit due to Washington’s exclusion of these countries.
“So is it going to be the Summit of the Americas, or is it going to be the Summit of the ‘Friends of America’?” he questioned.
Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard denounced Washington’s exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the regional summit as an exposure of U.S. double standards on democracy. For good measure, taking advantage of its role as summit host to bar these countries from the gathering is “questionable from a Pan-American legality issue,” he said.
AMLO’s brush-off of the summit rendered futile months of work by Washington to convince him to attend. Besides Mexico, the restricted guest list has also prompted pleas from Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador and some Caribbean countries to either boycott or dispatch lower-level delegations, following Obrador’s lead.
These came as an embarrassment to the White House, which dismissed last week questions from the press as to why it had yet to publish a list of summit attendees with just hours to go before the summit.
Experts believed that Mexico’s act alone would discourage Washington from fulfilling its stated objectives, including immigration, on which any action would require Mexico’s cooperation.
Total Rejection Of The Imperialist Vision
In response to Washington’s divisive moves, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expressed his government’s “firm, strong and total rejection of the imperialist vision that intends to exclude the peoples of the Americas” from a regional gathering.
The Cuban government said that there is no single reason to justify the U.S. government’s “undemocratic and arbitrary exclusion” of any country of the hemisphere from the Summit. Washington, abusing its privilege of being the host country, decided at a very early stage to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit, and used pressure, threats and blackmail against governments in the region.
“Cuba appreciates and respects the worthy, courageous and legitimate position of numerous governments in defense of the participation of all, under equal conditions. Our region demands cooperation, not exclusion; solidarity, not meanness; respect, not arrogance; sovereignty and self-determination, not subordination,” the Cuban diplomacy stated.
Having tested positive for COVID-19, Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou on Monday officially canceled his trip to the ninth Summit of the Americas.
Venezuelans March To Reject Country’s Exclusion From Summit
Workers marched on Thursday in downtown Caracas to reject Venezuela’s exclusion from the Summit and in support of their government’s policies.
“The empire was left alone and scorned at the Summit of the Americas,” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said to a large crowd.
Rodriguez warned that Venezuela is facing a moment of “serious threats,” that there are those who want to attack its economic progress, and that there is “financial persecution” against the country.
However, she said, “We have taken a first strategic and historic step to defeat the criminal blockade, which this republic has never experienced before.”
Rodriguez called for unity amid the country’s economic recovery, thanking Venezuelan workers for their continued support and struggle.