Cuba hits back at U.S. as tensions rise over Summit of Americas

A top Cuban diplomat on Friday told Reuters the United States was making a "desperate effort" to impose its will on the rest of the Western Hemisphere by determining which countries should be invited to the upcoming U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas. A Biden administration official said on Friday the United States had begun sending out invitations, but declined to say which countries were on the list.


Reuters | Updated: 20-05-2022 23:08 IST | Created: 20-05-2022 23:08 IST
Cuba hits back at U.S. as tensions rise over Summit of Americas

A top Cuban diplomat on Friday told Reuters the United States was making a "desperate effort" to impose its will on the rest of the Western Hemisphere by determining which countries should be invited to the upcoming U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas.

A Biden administration official said on Friday the United States had begun sending out invitations, but declined to say which countries were on the list. A senior State Department official said in April that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela would likely be excluded because they have not shown respect for democracy. Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, in a written statement to Reuters, said such a decision was a "reflection of American contempt for our region," in a sharp rebuke of comments on Thursday from Kerri Hannan, deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, accusing Cuba of using the Summit to distract from allegations of human rights abuses at home.

" should better explain what her government has decided to do and abandon ambiguous and unwarranted language about the right to participate in a non-U.S. event. It is all of the Americas," De Cossio said. A potential boycott of the June 6-10 summit by a growing number of leaders, including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has raised the risk of embarrassment for President Joe Biden, who will host the gathering in Los Angeles.

Lopez Obrador said last week he would not go to the summit if Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were not invited. His Bolivian counterpart, President Luis Arce, followed suit. De Cossio said the United States had only itself to blame for the predicament.

"It is disrespectful that the official does not consider as genuine and independent the positions of Latin America and the Caribbean to demand an inclusive hemispheric summit," he said. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said late on Thursday the U.S. government was having “constructive conversations” with Lopez Obrador around the summit. He added that former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, Biden's special envoy for the summit, had a “good exchange of views” with Lopez Obrador in a two-hour Zoom meeting this week.

De Cossio has blasted such talks and the undersecretary's statements as part of a campaign by the U.S. to pressure regional leaders. "The desperate efforts of...numerous officials of the United States throughout the region to impose their positions are well known," De Cossio told Reuters.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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