Mexico leader to skip Biden's Americas Summit

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Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced Monday he would skip the regional Summit of the Americas in the United States due to Washington's failure to invite countries it views as undemocratic.

The White House confirmed that President Joe Biden would not be inviting Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to this week's summit in Los Angeles.

"I'm not going to the summit because they are not inviting all the countries of America and I think it is necessary to change the policy that has been imposed on us for centuries: exclusion," said Lopez Obrador in his daily press conference.

Lopez Obrador said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard would be representing Mexico in his place.

The leftist populist had threatened last month to stay away from the summit unless all countries were invited.

Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel announced he would not attend even if invited, while Guatemala's conservative leader Alejandro Giammattei pulled out after Washington sanctioned his top prosecutor.

The White House had said last week that Biden was eager for Lopez Obrador to attend.

"You cannot have a Summit of the Americas if you do not have all the countries of the Americas attending," Lopez Obrador said.

"Or you can have it, but we see that as the old policy of interventionism, lack of respect for nations and their people."

A senior US official told AFP that "the US continues to maintain reservations regarding the lack of democratic space and the human rights situations" in the three countries.

"As a result, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela will not be invited to participate in this summit."


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