US Cold Warriors turn up the heat on Mexico
Latin American heads of state are threatening to skip the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next month, putting at risk the White House’s Cold War agenda. In response, Biden is warning neighbors in Mexico and the Caribbean to fall in line or face the consequences. It seems the Monroe Doctrine is still very much alive.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has threatened to skip the Summit if Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua were excluded. He was quickly followed by other regional leaders like Bolivia’s Pres. Bolivia's President Luis Arce, who were protesting indications given by the Biden administration that the U.S. would only invite “democratically elected” leaders to the summit, which is taking place in Los Angeles early next month. In other words, no socialists, leftists, or independistas allowed at the table.
The new leftist leader of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, also raised concerns, as did many Caribbean nations. "If all the nations are not present, it is not the Summit of the Americas", said Castro.
The 14 countries that make up the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM) have expressed their rejection of exclusionary policies and the Premier of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, Amery Browne, raised their voices against the U.S. action.
At the same time, the more than fifty leaders who form part of the Puebla Group called for unity in the region and stressed that "we do not want the division of Latin America and the Caribbean, much less that this be proto-colonized in a selective Summit managed by the United States".
A boycott by leaders of Mexico and Brazil — the region’s two largest nations — would deliver a humiliating blow to the White House.
Mexico’s act of defiance drew a rebuke from Biden's special adviser for the summit, former Sen. Chris Dodd who reminded the Mexican president of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold gets to make the rules. But now Dodd is reportedly trying to “smooth out” tensions after López Obrador basically told him to fu*k off.
Before the U.S. visit to Mexico, the Biden administration also made two major announcements that some see as an effort to try to meet López Obrador and other leaders halfway. On Monday, the White House announced plans to make it easier for families to send money and visit relatives in Cuba, reversing a Trump era move. On Tuesday, the administration announced it was easing some oil sanctions on Venezuela.
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