Mexico City (CNN) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has threatened to boycott next month’s Summit of the Americas, saying Tuesday that his participation will not be confirmed unless the host country, the United States, invites all countries in the hemisphere, including to Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“Participation in the Los Angeles Summit has not yet been resolved because we are proposing that no one be excluded because we seek the unity of all of America,” López Obrador said during his daily press conference in Mexico City.
“We feel that there should be no confrontation. Even with the differences, we must dialogue, all Americans, so we still have to resolve this issue; we have a very good relationship with the administration of President Biden. We want everyone to be invited. That is the position of Mexico,” he added.
The US position
US officials have repeatedly said that the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela will not be invited to the summit because of their human rights record.
As the host country, the US has the privilege of selecting leaders to be invited to the summit.
However, following López Obrador’s comments, the White House said Tuesday that no decisions have been made.
“We have not made a decision on who will be invited and invitations have not yet been issued,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary.
If López Obrador renounces Mexico’s place in the meeting, which will take place in June, it would constitute a considerable snub towards the White House and the administration of US President Joe Biden in particular, who have tried to use the summit as an opportunity to strengthen the Latin American ties with the US, amid growing Chinese interaction in the region.
López Obrador was in Cuba
The Mexican president spoke back in his country after a tour of Central America and Cuba, where he met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and former President Raúl Castro. In Cuba, López Obrador said that he would insist to Biden that no country in the Americas be excluded from the summit.
“I am aware that there are political groups in the United States that are committed to confrontation, that would like to hold the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean hostage, as is the case with the embargo on Cuba, highly promoted by Cuban politicians who have a lot of influence in the United States,” López Obrador said.
“But I consider the blockade inappropriate, inhumane (…) an entire people cannot suffer for the interest of a group, so the United States government must decide on this because it is a human rights issue, which has to do with sovereignty” , he added.
And he added: “If it is excluded. If not everyone is invited, a representative from the Government of Mexico will go, but I would not go. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard would represent me.”
The Summit of the Americas is traditionally a meeting of countries from North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, and takes place every four years.
Relations between the United States and Cuba have been tense for decades, despite the fact that the two countries held their first high-level talks in four years in April.
Nicaragua and Venezuela are on bad terms with Washington after an extensive list of sanctions against their governments and recent dubious elections.