U.S. President Joe Biden has welcomed neighboring leaders for 9th Summit of the Americas held at Los Angeles, California in spite of a boycott of a number of key heads of state.
The summit, which began on June 6, convened leaders of nations and important organization from the countries of North, South, and Central America, and the Caribbean to discuss topics on “confronting corruption, poverty, health concerns, climate change and migration,” according to the report by the New York Times.
The theme this year is “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future,” which calls for the cooperation of everyone in the region, and yet Biden has refused to invite countries with authoritarian leaders, like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel for “tactical reasons.” But because of this, the event was snubbed by the heads of Mexico and three more from the Northern Triangle area.
“That tactical decision is very hard to understand,” Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in the Foreign Policy. “Maduro continues to refuse negotiations, breaking the promises he made to the Biden administration to return to talks with the opposition, which had been launched in August 2021 in Mexico.”
“To state the obvious, our region is large and diverse,” Biden addressed his fellow leaders. “We don’t always agree on everything, but because we’re democracies, we work through our disagreements with mutual respect and dialogue. In the months leading up to this summit, countries have made meaningful and concrete commitments to address these challenges, and the United States intends to do our part as well.”
Despite the no-shows at the summit, Biden is confident that the United States could play a significant role in helping the region become more prosperous.
According to Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, the United States “would announce investments that would help unlock private financing for infrastructure, clean energy and digital improvements.”
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