Mexico City, May 12 (EFE).- Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday that he remains hopeful the United States will relent in its opposition to the presence of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela at next month’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
“I don’t rule out that President (Joe) Biden makes the invitation to everyone,” the Mexican president, known as AMLO, told reporters at his daily press conference.
He noted hopefully that the White House said Tuesday that invitations to the hemispheric gathering had still not gone out.
Two days ago, AMLO said that he would not attend the June 6-10 summit unless all of the countries of the Americas were invited, a position seconded on Wednesday by Bolivia’s Luis Arce.
And while not threatening to boycott the event, Honduran President Xiomara Castro wrote on Twitter: “if all of the nations aren’t present, it’s not a Summit of the Americas.”
A US State Department official said last week that Washington would likely not invite Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela because their governments “do not respect” democracy.
“Nobody has the right to speak in the name of all of the Americas and to decide who participates and who doesn’t,” AMLO said Thursday. “We are independent, free, sovereign countries.”
Asked about the controversy on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that “a final decision has not been made yet” on who will be invited.
AMLO said Thursday that he was not concerned about possible reprisals from the US over his position on the summit, describing Biden as a “good, responsible person” who “knows that one must respect the rights of all to dissent.”
“I have always said that we have received very respectful treatment from President Biden,” the Mexican leader said.
The most recent Americas Summit where all of the hemisphere’s countries were represented took place in Panama in 2015 and included a face-to-face meeting between then-Presidents Barack Obama of the US and Raul Castro of Cuba. EFE ppc/dr