THE possibility that the Ninth Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Los Angeles, California, United States, from June 6 to 10, will make significant progress already seems limited, although this should be an opportunity for dialogue and partnership building. at a time of global crisis. seizures.
As host, the United States can determine which heads of state and government will be invited to the summit in accordance with the democratic criteria agreed upon in 2001. As it did for President Biden’s December 2021 Democracy Summit , it was reported that the United States would not be inviting all Heads of State and Government of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries.
For this summit, he will exclude three: President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba. This exclusion sparked opposition within the ALC.
As President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico said, this is a Summit of the Americas and it should be inclusive. Heads of state and government, including Mexico, have threatened not to attend.
With respect to Canada, the White House reading of a conversation between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 6 indicates that they discussed the Summit of the Americas and their shared priorities on goals, such as green and equitable growth in the hemisphere.
So it looks like Canada intends to be there. I have no doubt that Canada has its own issues to raise.
The White House and State Department are tasked with persuading Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) leaders to attend the Summit. Vice President Kamala Harris, the President’s wife, Jill Biden, and others have been dispatched to specific capitals to encourage turnout.
It now appears, after these steps, that the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, will be present. It appears that the United States would accept a lower level delegation from Cuba. President Diaz-Canel said he would not participate under any circumstances.
The controversy extends to the countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) where chiefs have also expressed concern over the lack of inclusion of guests at the summit and it is said that chiefs are under pressure from the departs from Washington. Although some countries have signaled their intention to attend, it is still not certain that all 14 Caricom countries will attend. At least one official does not plan to attend.
This controversy over attendance is most regrettable in this period of global crisis which should be on the agenda: continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, rising inflation, food insecurity, climate change and prospects for economic recovery.
At the hemispheric level in particular, other critical issues include Haiti, migration, trade and investment, and security, including gun control. The lack of gun control in the United States is a problem for many countries in this hemisphere. Furthermore, the summit provides an opportunity to discuss the status of democracy, which is under threat not only in the LAC, but also clearly in the United States. There is also cause for concern in Canada.
As the Hill publication points out, the failure of this summit is not without consequences for the United States. This would highlight the divisions between the United States and its neighbors and further open the door for other powers, not only China, but also Russia and even India, to challenge the United States in what they consider it their sphere of influence.
The United States doesn’t have to like every government in the hemisphere or agree with their policies, but to borrow from Winston Churchill, it’s always best to wonder, to promote dialogue.
This summit should be a welcome opportunity for dialogue. Now, more than ever, should be the time to build bridges, not walls, in this hemisphere, and to create situations that foster the growth of democracy. Building and strengthening partnerships should be a priority. Illegal migrants would not flock to the United States if they did more to support the development of LAC countries.
* Elizabeth Morgan, who writes for CMC, is a specialist in international trade policy and international politics.