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The US excludes the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the top of the Americas. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is not going

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will not take part in the summit of the Americas (SOA), but the head of the local diplomacy will attend. Earlier, by the decision of the American administration, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were excluded from the summit, sources familiar with the case told foreign agencies. The reasons for the decisions are Washington’s reservations about respect for human rights and the state of democracy in these countries.

After weeks of discussions with the Latin American and Caribbean governments, the US has made the final decision on the participation of the three countries in SOA, which is slated to begin this week in Los Angeles, the source said, quoted by Bloomberg on Monday.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Monday evening that he would not appear at the summit. The head of the local diplomacy, Marcelo Ebrard, will appear there.

However, Obrador added that he would visit President Joe Biden in July.

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Andres Manuel Lopez ObradoPAP / EPA / ISAAC ESQUIVEL

Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua excluded from the summit

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel announced in May that he would not make it to the summit, even if invited, accusing the US of “brutal pressure” to make this year’s SOA “non-inclusive”. Cuba participated in the two previous summits. Cuban civil society activists were invited to participate in the event.

Miguel Diaz-Canel StringerAL / Shutterstock

Following the exclusion of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from the summit, the US administration is considering inviting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is likely to attend a side event remotely, an anonymous US official said. The US recognizes Guaido as the rightful president of Venezuela, thus condemning the re-election of Maduro. According to Washington, the 2018 Venezuelan elections were rigged.

Nicolas MaduroStringerAL / Shutterstock

Also excluded from the SOA summit were Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist fighter who won his fourth consecutive term in November after throwing his rivals into prison.

Daniel Ortega JORGE TORRES / EFE / PAP / EPA

Reuters: Region Leaders Turn On US

The controversy over the guest list could hurt the main American goal of the meeting, which was to use the summit to repair relations with Latin America, damaged by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, strengthen US influence and counter Chinese influence in the region, comments Reuters.

Most Latin American leaders have signaled they will participate in this year’s SOA, the agency adds, but opposition from left-wing governments indicates that many in the region are reluctant to follow the US lead as they did in the past. Anonymous White House officials argued that the controversy over the invitations would subside and the summit would be a success no matter who attended.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ISAAC ESQUIVEL

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