Countries threaten to boycott Summit of the Americas in U.S

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Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member

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Amid boycotts, US scrambling to make Summit of the Americas a success​


The week-long Summit of the Americas, slated to start June 8 in Los Angeles, is a big deal for the Western Hemisphere -- bringing together leaders from North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean.

But President Joe Biden's opportunity to host the high-profile gathering is running into some major problems that threaten to undermine the meetings -- and Biden's push to reassert U.S. leadership in the region.

Several leaders are threatening to boycott the summit because the U.S. has decided to not invite the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua. And without these leaders' participation, agenda items like a region-wide agreement on migration and efforts to combat climate change and the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 are in doubt.

"If all of the countries are not invited, I am not going to attend," Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated Friday. He's repeatedly said all of the region's countries must be invited, including those that Washington considers authoritarian and are under U.S. sanctions -- Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Criticism like that has had the Biden administration scrambling to shore up attendance, including by dispatching Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and a special adviser for the summit, former Democratic senator Chris Dodd.

"Is it going to be the Summit of the Americas or the Summit of the Friends of America? Because if those countries are excluded, what continent are they from? Are they not from the Americas?" López Obrador, known by his initials as AMLO, added during a press conference Friday.

Losing the leader of Mexico, the 15th largest economy in the world and one of the region's most important players, would be a big blow. U.S. officials, including Dodd, Biden's friend and former Senate colleague, have been talking to AMLO's government to secure his attendance.

But AMLO is not alone. The leaders of Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Guatemala have announced they will not attend. And others, including in Chile and Argentina, have criticized the snubs.

Even Honduras, whose left-leaning female president -- the first in the nation's history -- has been showered with attention by the Biden administration, has threatened to not attend.

"I will attend the summit only if all of the countries in the Americas are invited without exception," President Xiomara Castro tweeted Saturday.

That line in the sand was drawn just hours after Castro spoke with Vice President Harris. Harris, who Biden tapped to oversee the administration's efforts to address migration from Central America, has sought to secure an ally in Castro -- attending her inauguration in January and becoming the first foreign leader Castro met with after taking office.

While the U.S. readout of their Friday call made no mention of the summit, that Castro voiced clear opposition so shortly after is another troubling sign for the administration.

"Whether or not a widespread boycott of the summit ultimately materializes, the stresses in U.S-regional relations will have been exposed in an unflattering light," Michael McKinley, who served as U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, wrote in an opinion piece for the U.S. Institute of Peace.

"The uncertainties surrounding the summit," he added, "are a wake-up call for the United States."

Salvaging attendance could be one reason for those recent reversals in U.S. policy toward Cuba and Venezuela. Biden administration officials have denied that was the case, but a senior Caribbean-nation official said they made a difference in getting 13 of the 14 island nations to RSVP yes, according to Reuters. On Friday, the U.S. Treasury extended the oil company Chevron's license to keep operating in Venezuela, stopping short of allowing the resumption of oil exports, but another good will gesture to Nicolás Maduro's government.

But the U.S. made clear Thursday -- it is not inviting the governments of Venezuela or Nicaragua, per Kevin O'Reilly, the top U.S. diplomat coordinating the summit. O'Reilly said the U.S. still doesn't recognize Maduro's legitimacy, but deferred to the White House on whether the U.S. would invite opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's "interim president."

While those exclusions were confirmed, whether Dodd and others can convince AMLO to come anyway is still an open question. The Mexican populist president, who's said he may send his Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in his place, left the door open -- praising Biden as a "good person, he doesn't have a hardened heart."

But Dodd's efforts appear to have paid off elsewhere -- after meeting Dodd on Tuesday, the far-right president of Brazil, another of the region's major powers, is attending, per Brazilian newspaper O Globo. It will be the first time Biden even speaks to Jair Bolsonaro, whose attacks on the environment and Brazil's democratic institutions -- and his close ties to Donald Trump -- have cooled relations with the White House.

In addition to Dodd, the administration deployed first lady Jill Biden on a six-day goodwill tour through the region this month. Biden, who will attend the summit with the president, visited Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama -- and batted away concerns about a boycott in between stops promoting U.S. investment and assistance in each country.

"I'm not worried. I think that they'll come," she told reporters as she departed San Jose, Costa Rica, on May 23.

O'Reilly told the Senate Thursday that the White House has not made a decision yet about inviting Cuba -- a week and a half after the administration reversed Trump's hardline policies. The White House announced flights to cities beyond Havana will resume, people-to-people exchanges will be permitted, and remittances will no longer be capped, among other steps that moved toward, but fell short of the rapprochement under Biden's old boss, Barack Obama.

But regardless of a U.S. invite, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced Wednesday that "under no circumstances" will he attend, accusing the U.S. of "intensive efforts and ... brutal pressures to demobilize the just and firm claims of the majority of the countries of the region demanding that the Summit should be inclusive."

The invitation list is also drawing criticism from Biden's own party. Fifteen House Democrats, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Gregory Meeks, wrote to Biden Thursday expressing "concern" about the decision.

"We feel strongly that excluding countries could jeopardize future relations throughout the region and put some of the ambitious policy proposals your administration launched under Build Back Better World at risk," they wrote in their letter.

Others on Capitol Hill have argued in the opposite direction-- with Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate's subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere, saying Thursday that the U.S. should not be "bullied" by AMLO or others and should not invite dictators.

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Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
What the US did to Cuba is fucking vile, no reason to keep the sanctions till now but they do it anyway without any reason, and now it comes to bite them back in the ass.

Biden is indeed a fucking moron.
What the Cuban government continues to do to its own people is vile. I have many Cuban friends, whose families escaped from Cuba's inhuman government. Persecution, the repression of dissidents, the mistreatment of political prisoners, extrajudicial executions, torture, and many other crimes have been committed by the Cuban government since Castro and company established their totalitarian regime.

The number of people on this forum espousing love for totalitarian governments is simply astounding.
 

MiddleEuroAsia

opportunist
Entrepreneur
What the Cuban government continues to do to its own people is vile. I have many Cuban friends, whose families escaped from Cuba's inhuman government. Persecution, the repression of dissidents, the mistreatment of political prisoners, extrajudicial executions, torture, and many other crimes have been committed by the Cuban government since Castro and company established their totalitarian regime.
Me too, most of them live in florida and they vote red all they way. And yeah it's sad to what happened to these people back in the day.

Anyway, This is absolutely BS and you know it man, I like your posts but come on, do you mean they sanctioned cuba because of these "human rights" issues? bullshit. Then why the US not sanactioning Saudi arabia, Egypt, israel, China....etcf? human rights abuses are all over the place there, but hey, they can't do this to their "allies" and "important/strategic allies outside of nato" am I right?

These sanctiones hurt not one but the common people! Even activists who are fighting against these communists are telling the US to give them a damn break: ‘Give Us a Break!’ Cuban Activists Say U.S. Sanctions Are Blocking Them from Online Services
The number of people on this forum espousing love for totalitarian governments is simply astounding.
You don't get it man, We are not loving "totalitarian/socialist/communist governments" .
I'll speak for my self atleast, I just find un-tapped opportunites in Certain countries and I make use of them. Simple as that.

the beaucratic hell hole that you find in the EU can be solved by some gifts here and there in other countries and you are done.
Terrible deal for certain locals, but great for certain foreigners. not the patriotic answer that you are looking for I know, But sadly, that's the direction that the world is heading to.So I either accept it and make sure to find ways to utilize these disadvantages and turn them into opportunites, or turn a blind eye and continue living in my own bubble/fantasy world.

What do you want me to do when my own country want to tax me to death and make it hell to operate a business with all the audit requirements and bla bla bla. what would I do? I will simply go and find an alternative and soon enough, you will find these alternatives open new paths that you never know exist and all these experiences widen your world view by quite a margain.
And you kind of wonder, is democracy the be all and end all for a good, functioning society?, but then you find you are not the only one who asked or is asking this question: Why Socrates Hated Democracy - The School Of Life

Look at these countries, and tell me whom from the western world don't do business with them? Singapore (dictatorship, has great business opportunity) Thailand ( dictatorship/on the road to absolute monarchy, but has great business opportunity) UAE (dictatorship, has great business opportunity) Egypt (dictatorship, has great business opportunity) Turkey (Semi-dictatorship, has great business opportunity) Belize (monarchical dictatorship, still has great business opportunity) and the list goes on.

So it's great for western governments, mega corporations and business titans to shake hands with authoritarian regimes and I should be the one who still holds the moral high ground? Lol. Sorry, not my cup of tea.

we are walking on a thin, grey line in the offshore world, but sometimes you find your legs slip here and there to make certain stuff work and get shit done, I for my self, wouldn't wait 8 f hours in a thai police station, when I can pay 30 bucks and get it over with. That's my mentality, that's how I operate, And the moment I find the UAE/EG/SG/MY no longer working, I will pack my bags and move onto the next place, and i'm sure that there are other people who share the same opinion as me.
 
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Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Thank you @MiddleEuroAsia for seeing the reality. The countries planning a boycott are aware of the double standards of the U.S. There is no reason to exclude Venezuela and consider inviting a puppet in his place when U.S keeps far worse company as friends. I am glad these countries have the guts to stand up for what is right. Even American journalists are aware of U.S double standard and call it out like the below.....lol. That guys expression when challenged with facts is precisely rof/%.


 

Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
What you gentlemen see as hypocrisy is simply political and diplomatic pragmatism. A country cannot start WWIII with China or Russia, even over something as important as human rights. Nor can it destroy its own economy by alienating Saudi Arabia. That does not mean that it should stand idly by while other totalitarian nations abuse their own citizens, when it can do something to help.

Perhaps an analogy will help. If your daughter dates a criminal, you will treat a young punk on a motorcycle far differently than you would a mafioso who is capable of slaughtering your whole family. That is simply pragmatism, not hypocrisy.

Beyond that, if a culture is incapable of democracy, then you will always choose the lessor of two evils, i.e., a military junta over communism or an Islamic regime (e.g., Egypt).

Stating that the U.S. should treat all malefactors equally is simply ignorant barbaric nonsense. That is not how the world works. Nor is it how the world should work. When battling evil, you help how you can, when you can -- but you do not shoot yourself in the foot while doing it.
 

Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Hypocrisy can never be excused. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Hence a nation being a hypocritical nation out of self interest when it comes to i.e Saudi Arabia should not criticize others. The do as I say and not as I do U.S practice in 2022 does not work. It's clear moral bankruptcy to think otherwise and excuse away such hypocrisy. If countries do end up boycotting they have shown the backbone needed to promote inclusion rather than exclusion across the Americas. All parties need to come together to solve the immigration issue and excluding some just harms the cause.
 
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