Mexico’s President Refuses to Participate in the Summit of the Americas

President Obrador decided to boycott the Joe Biden diplomatic summit after excluding Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The “top of the americasBy Joe Biden, which is supposed to usher in a new era in US relations with Latin America, which opened on Monday, is already experiencing many bumps as the Mexican president refuses to participate in the wake of Cuba and Venezuela’s exclusion. and Nicaragua.

After weeks of suspense, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador finally carried out his threat and announced that he would not participate in the diplomatic event starting in Los Angeles. “I will not attend the summit because we are not inviting all the countries of America. I believe in changing the policy that has been imposed for centuries: exclusion”, in front of the press, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

A White House official confirmed to AFP on Monday that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were not actually invited to attend the Summit of the Americas, stressing “Reserves“Face of the United States”Lack of democratic space and respect for human rightsin these three countries. For its part, the Cuban government condemned this US decision, describing it as “undemocratic and arbitraryWhile he welcomed the Mexican President’s protest gesture.

Nevertheless, leaders from across the region are expected to continue a week of exchanges, as Washington wants to show its muscle against China, which is offering its pawns in a region that Americans have long considered their backyard.

boycott

Juan Gonzalez, Joe Biden’s chief Latin American adviser, told reporters that the US president had intended to “Enhance visibility of a safe area” And the “democracy“, this is “Which is ultimately in the strategic interest of the United StatesAccording to him, Joe Biden will make announcements on economic cooperation and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as well as against climate change.

The 79-year-old Democrat also hopes to strike a regional cooperation agreement on a politically explosive topic, which has earned him fierce criticism from the Republican opposition: immigration. An increasing number of people are seeking entry to the United States after fleeing poverty and violence in Central America and Haiti. The Biden administration has so far failed to deliver on its promise of a revamped immigration policy that wants to be more humane than that laid out in Trump’s mandate.

American retreat

Washington secured the attendance of some key leaders, from the center-left Argentine President Alberto Fernandez to the far-right Brazilian head of state Jair Bolsonaro. But the absence of the Mexican president will be seen as “Importantsays Benjamin Gaidan, who directs Latin American studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He had already caused him to threaten a boycottA truly unwelcome shift during the run-up to the summit that consumed an enormous amount of American diplomatic energy“, notice.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is very popular in his country, and he has indicated that he might meet President Joe Biden at the White House in July, with which he claims to get along very well. Benjamin Gaidan also points out that as China invests heavily in the region, the US president has yet to announce any major economic effort. “The top will have to be judged by the measure of US offers in terms of access to trade, loans, and assistance to fund recovery and infrastructure in the region.Benjamin Gedan says again.And on these points, the United States will be disappointed, it is inevitable“, he thinks.

The lost lure of free trade

The Summit of the Americas was launched in 1994 in Miami by President Bill Clinton, who wanted to launch a broad regional trade liberalization agreement. But free trade is no longer on the rise, neither in the United States nor anywhere else, and in this respect, Joe Biden has not fundamentally broken the protectionist reactions of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas (“Council of the Americas‘, an organization that promotes continent-wide trade exchanges) recently estimated during a parliamentary hearing that every edition of the Summit of the Americas wasless ambitious» from the former.

Michael Schefter, a researcher with the Inter-American Dialogue, sees the guest list controversy as a sign of waning American influence. Especially since the political difficulties of unpopular Joe Biden, who risks losing control of Congress after this fall’s election, are not escaping from the region’s leaders.

United States of America “He still has a lot of ‘soft power’“, he notes, i.e. influence in terms of cultural content or consumption habits. But they”Political and diplomatic influence is declining every day“.

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