In a blow to President Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Monday that he will not attend the Summit of the Americas that the US is hosting in Los Angeles over Washington’s decision not to invite Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
“I can inform the people of Mexico that I will not go to the summit,” López Obrador said. “I won’t go to the summit because not all countries in the Americas are invited.”
Mexico is not entirely boycotting the summit as López Obrador said he would be sending his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, in his place. The leaders of Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Antigua and Barbuda have also said they will not attend the summit.
The decision by López Obrador and other leaders to boycott the summit deals a serious blow to the Biden administration, which has planned to use the event as a way to demonstrate US leadership to deal with regional issues.
While Biden has recently eased a small number of sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, he has maintained most of the economic pressure and pursued a policy of trying to isolate the countries. Last year, the US rejected the results of Nicaragua’s presidential election and slapped sanctions on the government of President Daniel Ortega.
The theme of the Biden administration’s foreign policy has been to increase cooperation with partners and allies to counter China and Russia, but that goal continues to be hampered by the US habit of trying to isolate governments that don’t fall in line.