Is US converging with Cuba and Venezuela to save Summit of Americas? Opinion

21.05.2022, Washington.

The is USA converging with Cuba and Venezuela to save the Summit of the Americas, the Los Tiempos Bolivian newspaper reported on May 19.

Less than a month before the meeting, US President Biden is trying to avoid a potential boycott organized by President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to which other leaders are joining.

On May 16, the Biden administration announced that commercial flights to Cuba beyond Habana resumed, that the limit on money transfers would be lifted, and that the family reunion program would be resumed. All this Biden promised to do during his election campaign, but after he came to power he failed to change his predecessor’s policy.

A day later, on May 17, Biden said that he would lift certain economic sanctions against Venezuela, including the ban for the Chevron US oil company to carry out talks with the PDVSA Venezuelan oil giant in exchange to the resumption of the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the pro-US opposition.

“The United States has been working on these relaxations for several months, and it decided to make them public exactly when the Summit of the Americas, where Biden wants to sign a regional migration pact, entered a crisis because of the White House’s decision not to invite Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua,” the outlet wrote.

The first to raise his voice against was President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who said that he would not participate in the Summit of the Americas unless all the countries of the regions are invited without exceptions. Later, President of Bolivia Luis Arce supported his position.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which includes 15 member states, also questioned its participation for the same reason. It reported pressure by the United States for the organization to cancel its decision.

The presidents of Argentina Alberto Fernández, of Chile Gabriel Boric, and of Honduras Xiomara Castro did not rule out participation of their countries, but they demanded that no one could be excluded from the common Summit of the Americas.

Although for different reasons, President of Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei said that he would not go to the Summit after the US Department of State criticized the re-election of the country’s Prosecutor General. President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro also doubts his participation.

After Mexico’s statements on Cuba and Venezuela, Biden’s advisor for the Summit of the Americas Christopher Dodd held a video conference with López Obrador trying to “conciliate positions.” However, according to the Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the Mexican leader still believes that “all the countries of the continent should be invited, without any exceptions.”

The truth is that the White House has not sent out the invitations to the Summit, as Press Secretary of the White House Karine Jean-Pierre yesterday confirmed.

Previously, however, Deputy Press Secretary for Latin America Brian Nichols said that he did not expect invitations for the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, as these countries fail to follow the “democratic charter.”

Some senators have already spoken against the Biden administration’s attempts to mend relations with Cuba and Venezuela, including democrat Bob Menendez, the Chairman the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an influential politician on Latin America.

At a press conference on May 17, Menendez demanded that the weakening of the sanctions must not be followed by the invitation of Cuba and Venezuela to the meeting in June, because in that case “that would not be a summit of democracies anymore.”

At the same time, Biden is trying to ensure the participation of his closest allies such as President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso, whom he called the previous day to discuss this issue.

US first lady Jill Biden began her tour to Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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