Cuban president says he won’t attend Summit of the Americas

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez on Wednesday said he will not attend the U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas despite not being invited by the Biden administration. File Photo by Ariel Ley Royero/EPA-EFE

May 26 (UPI) — Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez announced in protest that he will not attend a major summit of world leaders from the Western hemisphere to be hosted by the United States next month after being snubbed of an invitation from the Biden administration.

The leader of the socialist nation made the announced Wednesday on Twitter concerning the Summit of the Americas, which is scheduled for Los Angeles from June 6-10.

“I can assure you that in no case will I attend,” he said.

The announcement follows months in which the Biden administration has signaled that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua would not be invited to the summit.

In January, Brian Nichols, assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, told reporters that the guest list had yet to be drawn up but democracy was a key hallmark of the event.

“The summit should uphold the hemisphere’s longstanding commitment to democracy and human rights, consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and demonstrate to all people that democratic processes and institutions can respond effectively to their needs and deliver results,” he said, referring to the charter by the Organization of American States that affirms democracy should be the from all member states’ governments.

Last month, he said the White House will determine which leaders are to be invited but that “we will see countries that share [the commitment to democracy] as the key participants in the summit,’ suggesting neither of the three nations would be invited.

The stance attracted pushback from some assumed participants in the summit, including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who threatened earlier this month to boycott the event if the other world leaders weren’t invited.

In his statement Wednesday, Diaz-Canel accused the United States of having conceived the summit to be an exclusive.

“It is also known that the United States has been carrying out intense efforts and has exerted brutal pressures, in order to demobilize the just and firm demands of the majority of the countries of the region that the summit must be inclusive,” he wrote in the Twitter thread. “We appreciate the brave and dignified position of the countries that have raised their voices against exclusions.”

Diaz-Canel’s statement came after his foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, said in late April that they were aware from sources of an effort to exclude them from the summit.

“There is no justification for excluding Cuba or any other country from this event,” he said.

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