Biden is wrong, Mexico's president will skip Americas Summit

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Mexican president, confirmed Monday that he would not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

Biden is wrong, Mexico's president will skip Americas Summit

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Mexican president, confirmed Monday that he would not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. This is a blow for the U.S. efforts to unite governments to tackle the rising tide of migration in the Americas.

Lopez Obrador was leading a group of mostly leftist leaders who urged the U.S. not to invite Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela to the event that will be held on American soil for the first-time since 1994. Others, including leaders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala -- three major drivers of migration to America -- have also indicated that they will not attend.

Lopez Obrador stated Monday that there cannot be an Americas Summit without all the continent's countries participating. He indicated that Mexico would be represented instead by Marcelo Ebrard (his foreign affairs secretary). "Or there can exist one, but that is to continue the old politics and interventionism."

While the White House justified its decision to exclude certain countries while also confirming that Lopez Obrador will be visiting Washington in July to meet Biden, the White House confirmed that Lopez Obrador would. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said that there was "candid engagement” with the Mexican leader regarding the summit.

Jean-Pierre stated, "We don't believe that dictators should ever be invited."

Critics say that the event could become embarrassing for President Joe Biden. He has struggled to assert U.S. leadership within a region where mistrust runs deep and China has made major inroads over the past two decades. The U.S. foreign policies have been dominated by wars throughout the Middle East, and then Russia's invasion in Ukraine.

Even leaders attending the meeting had differences with the U.S.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada has always supported and protected human rights in Cuba during a news conference held in Ottawa with Gabriel Boric, the Chilean President. "We have also advocated for greater democracy. Canada has always held a different view of Cuba than the United States.

Boric, a leftist millennial of 36 years, stated that attendees will be able to make statements if the United States decides to exclude certain countries.

Robert Menendez (a New Jersey Democrat) is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair. He applauded the exclusions of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. He also took aim at Lopez Obrador by claiming that his decision to skip Los Angeles would hurt bilateral relations.

Menendez claimed that the Mexican leader was siding against "dictators, despots" over representing the interests Mexicans in a summit with partners from across the hemisphere.

Biden's administration stated that it will not allow autocratic governments to jail opponents or rig elections. This is a reference to the declaration made at the 2001 summit in Quebec City. It was there that the region's governments pledged to stop any government from violating democratic order at future gatherings.

Many critics, including progressive Democrats, have pointed out that the administration has reacted to exiles from Florida who wanted to ban communist Cubans from attending the two summits. In exchange for an agreement to resume negotiations with the U.S-backed opposition, he sent a high-ranking delegation to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro.

Jorge Castaneda (a former Mexican foreign minister, now an instructor at New York University) said that "The real question here is why the Biden government didn't do their homework."

Castaneda stated that while the Biden administration insists that the president in Los Angeles will present his vision for a sustainable, resilient, and fair future for the hemisphere's, it is clear from last-minute wrangling about the guest list, that Latin America is not a priority of the U.S. president.

President Bill Clinton launched the Summit of the Americas to mobilize support for a free trade deal stretching from Alaska to Argentina.

However, this goal was abandoned 15 years ago due to a rise of leftist politics within the region. Most nations expect and require less from Washington, as China's influence is growing.