Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reiterated his call to modify the policy of regional exclusion, as the ninth Summit of the Americas is underway in Los Angeles, amid the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“If we do nothing to change this hegemonic policy that does not respect peoples’ sovereignty and countries’ independence; if we remain silent, then it will continue,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying to the media.
“I believe it is an anachronistic, old and unfair policy that must be set aside, and a new stage must be inaugurated in the relationship of all the fraternal peoples and countries of the American continent,” he added.
Lopez Obrador said that although the Mexican government is represented at the meeting by Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, it is “under protest” due to the exclusions.
The Summit opened on Wednesday and will run through Friday. The topics of discussion will include global issues like ways to boost economic growth, address climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was however, overshadowed by the absence of multiple Latin American leaders, including those of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, who boycotted the meeting and those of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, who were excluded by Washington.
Meanwhile, Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou dropped out after contracting Covid-19, and Bolivia also declined to attend.
Lopez Obrador, arguably the most important Latin American leader on the summit’s guest list, announced on Monday morning that he would stay at home.
The Summit of the Americas are periodic meetings of regional heads of state and government to address diplomatic and trade issues of importance at the continental level.
Its first edition was held in Miami in 1994, and since then the event has been accused of excluding countries with political ideologies different from that of the US, such as Cuba and Venezuela.