Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says the US President has no right to exclude anyone from the Summit of the Americas

The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said on Monday that US President Joe Biden had no right to decide who or which countries would be invited to the Summit of the Americas next month, leaving hear that Kingstown is unlikely to participate in the June 6-10 event.

“There was agreement on four principles…that the summit should be inclusive, that no one should be excluded, and that the President of the United States, the government of the United States, has no right to exclude anyone. it would be.

“It’s not his right to exclude anyone from what needs to be done in all of the Americas, he alone cannot make that decision,” Gonsalves said on the NBC public radio show. API PRESENTS ll MARNIN’ SVG”.

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He told listeners that some countries will attend the summit to be held in Los Angeles at the chiefs level, “some will attend at lower levels and some will not attend at all,” said Gonsalves, who recently returned home after a visit to Cuba where he received the country’s highest national honor.

Caribbean leaders are still unsure whether or not they will boycott the summit if Washington goes ahead with its plans not to invite the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the event.

CARICOM President and Prime Minister of Belize John Briceño had confirmed that Washington was pushing for CARICOM to change its position and not boycott the summit which the United States says is expected. focus on “Building a sustainable, resilient and equitable future” for the hemisphere.

“We said we would only participate if everyone was invited. As you all know, the Americans are the subject of an intense diplomatic campaign to get us involved. The Summit of the Americas is very important and we haven’t had one for some time, since the pandemic. »

In addition, regional leaders had also expressed their opposition to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who was leading a Venezuelan delegation to the event.

Gonsalves told the radio show that the president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Alberto Fernández, who is also president of Argentina, “has made it clear that although he is leaving , he will mainly protest and talk about the issue because the summit must be inclusive and must not exclude anyone.

The U.S. State Department, in a statement announcing the Summit of the Americas, said, “As chair and host, the United States will work with regional stakeholders to secure leadership and concrete actions that significantly improve the response and resilience to the pandemic, promote a green and equitable recovery, build strong and inclusive democracies and address the root causes of irregular migration.

Earlier, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, said he hoped that in the “not too distant future” CARICOM leaders would adopt a position on participation in the Summit of the Americas.

CMC/

Kevin E. Boling