In a gesture of support for Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, the government of Alberto Fernández rejected through CELAC the decision of the United States to exclude these three countries from the next Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles from June 6 to 10.
“We urge the organizers of the Summit avoid exclusions that prevent all the voices of the hemisphere from dialoguing and be heard,” was posted in a Twitter thread from the official account of CELAC, which Argentina chairs until the end of the year.
Although the publication does not respond directly to an official comment from the Argentine government, the management of CELAC network profiles is under the orbit of the country that has the presidencyin this case Argentina.
Alberto Fernandez had an intense schedule at international level with the visit to the country of foreign leaders such as Gabriel Boric -Chile-, Luis Arce -Bolivia- and Guillermo Lasso -Ecuador-, but also because of the fluid dialogues he maintains with other presidents and through Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero.
An announced and expected exclusion
The United States had not yet communicated it officially, but since the announcement of the date and the organization had prepared the ground do not invite Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua of this summit which will bring together the leaders of all the countries of the region.
After some back and forth last night, it was Under Secretary of State for Latin America and the Caribbean, Brian Nichols, who confirmed it: “I don’t expect your presence”responded concisely in an interview with the Colombian channel NTN24.
Nichols is the region’s top civil servant within the US Secretary of State and who is responsible for coordinating and organizing this summit which they deem to be of “vital importance for the presidency of Joe Biden”, according to their words from Washington.
Since the beginning of the year and in a meeting in which I had participated NTNichols had predicted that “Democracy is an absolute priority” for the organization. Now, he argued that these three countries “do not respect the democratic charter of the Americas”.
Rapid response to the American movement
The request from the presidency of CELAC, in charge of Argentina until the end of the year, was not long in coming. A few hours later, they posted a series of messages on the little bird’s platform where they asked to go beyond “ideological divisions” to focus “on the search for coincidences”.
Without mentioning it, the message is directly addressed to the decision of the United States. CELAC also requested the participation of “all countries of the hemisphere in an open and inclusive manner”. Behind the message are not only Alberto Fernández, but also the most powerful ideological allies such as the president of Bolivia, Chile and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the Mexican president.
As TN learned on Friday of last week, President Joe Biden had a phone conversation with AMLO where, among other topics, the invitation of countries to the summit was mentioned.
Yesterday, almost simultaneously, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken communicated with Juan Guaidóinterim president of Venezuela and recognized by the United States, to express their support, as published by the Department of State.
The Venezuelan opposition saw the call as a big gesture of support that came at the same time as Nichols’ statement. There was even a sector of Venezuelan dissidents which until was “surprised” by a sudden political movement for the region.
Expectations for the new Summit of the Americas
The regional leaders’ conclave will take place between June 6 and 10 in Los Angeles, California. The US government has already initiated all logistical and security moves to host such a meeting for America.
Will be the ninth summit of american leaders and the United States will host it for the second time, having hosted the first in 1994.
There is immediate precedent for the exclusion of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua from an event organized by the United States. In December of last year, Biden decided not to include those same countries in what he called the Democracy Summit.