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US excludes Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua from regional summit

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of Mexico, speaks during a State of The Union Report on the 40 months of the current administration at Palacio Nacional on April 12, 2022, in Mexico City. (Agustin Cuevas/Getty Images/TNS)

The Biden administration has made a final decision against inviting the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to a regional summit this week, bucking calls from Mexico’s president to include all countries or risk him staying home.

The U.S. made the call after weeks of discussions with governments from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico’s, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak about the matter publicly. The U.S. has non-government representatives from all three countries registered to participate in stakeholder forums, the people said.

The White House press office declined to comment.

The United States’ choice is based on concerns about the lack of democracy and respect for human rights in the three countries, the people said.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been saying for weeks that he would skip the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles unless representatives of the authoritarian governments were invited. The U.S. had refused, citing their undemocratic records, but continued to discuss the issue with Mexico. In turn, the leaders of other nations, including Guatemala and Honduras, said they may skip the summit as well.


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