Q REPORTS – Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, led by the regimes of Miguel Díaz-Canel, Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, respectively, are the three countries in the hemisphere that did not receive an invitation to the IX Summit of the Americas organized by the United States government, led by Joe Biden and held in Los Angeles, California.
The big question about these three nations is how many times have they participated in this political forum?
This year, the United States, as host for the second time – the first was the inaugural meeting in Miami in 1994 – decided not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the Los Angeles Summit, pointing out that their governments do not comply with the norms of the democracy, one of the fundamental pillars of the most important political event in the region.
This year the ninth edition of the Summit of the Americas. Past events were held in Miami, USA, in 1994; Santiago de Chile, in 1998; Quebec, Canada, in 2001; Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 2005; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 2009; Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, in 2012; Panama, in 2015; and Lima, Peru, in 2018. In addition, two extraordinary Summits have been held, in Bolivia (1996) and Mexico (2004).
The event is organized by the Organization of American States (OAS).
Nicaragua‘s participation was in the First Summit organized by the US in Miami, in 1994, under the government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro; followed up in 1998, for the Second Summit held in Santiago de Chile, in 1998, and the Third in Canada, in 2001, under the government of former President Arnoldo Alemán Lacayo.
In 2004, President Enrique Bolaños Geyer attended the Summit held in Mexico, and the IV Summit held in Argentina in 2005.
Two years after returning to power in 2007, Daniel Ortega participated in the V Summit of the Americas held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009.
In 2012, for the VI Summit held in Colombia, Ortega did not attend, rejecting the invitation and decided to stay in Managua to attend an act of solidarity with Havana, Cuba, which was excluded from that Summit.
Ortega did attend, in the company of his wife, Rosario Murillo, the Summit in Panama in 2015 in Panama.
While the Ortega regime is not welcome in Los Angeles, civil society participates in representing Nicaragua, such as lawyers, campesino leaders and opposition activists.
Venezuela, under the government of the late President Hugo Chávez, participated in the Summits held in Canada in 2001, in Argentina in 2005, and in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. Subsequently, Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, participated in the VI Summit as Venezuelan Foreign Minister in 2012 and at the VII Summit held in Panama in 2015
Only at the VIII Summit of the Americas, held in Peru in 2018, did the Peruvian Foreign Ministry withdraw the invitation to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Instead, an opposition delegation was invited.
Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS) shortly after the 1959 revolution and the adoption of socialism as the system of government. This country, under the regime of the late Fidel Castro, was represented at the extraordinary Summit of 2002 held in Monterrey, Mexico.
Governed by Raúl Castro, it participated in the VII Summit organized by Panama in 2015, and in 2018 it sent its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, to the VIII Summit held in Peru. The current Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, is the only one who has not participated in the political event.
Venezuela and Nicaragua have been excluded from the Summit for the first time. Both countries have been sanctioned by the United States for “their anti-democratic practices and violations of the fundamental rights of their citizens.”
The position of the three countries
Cuba’s President Díaz-Canel had already confirmed that he would not participate, in a message in which he also highlighted the efforts of some presidents of the region who “have raised their voices against exclusions,” such as Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), so that all countries of the Americas will be invited.
“It is known that the Government of the United States conceived from the beginning that the Summit of the Americas would not be inclusive. It was his intention to exclude several countries, including Cuba, despite the strong regional demand that the exclusions be put to an end,” Díaz-Canel said.
Maduro’s message confirming that he would not attend was through a similar channel. “In Venezuela, we have a clear path: unity, inclusion, diversity, democracy and the right to build our own destiny. We reject the pretensions to exclude and discriminate against peoples in the Summit of the Americas,”, he wrote on Twitter.
En Venezuela, tenemos el camino claro: unión, inclusión, diversidad, democracia y el derecho a construir nuestro propio destino. Rechazamos las pretensiones de excluir y discriminar a pueblos en la Cumbre de las Américas. ¡El proyecto de la Patria Grande renacerá! pic.twitter.com/ZmdpdVfmVf
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 25, 2022
According to reports from the AFP news agency, Maduro arrived in Turkey on an official visit on Tuesday.
Ortega was another of the leaders who said that he would not participate from the moment that talk began of a possible exclusion of Nicaragua.
“We are not interested in being at that Summit, that Summit does not exalt anyone… that Summit dirty, muddy,” he said on May 18 on national television and radio.
What is the Summit?
According to the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat, these meetings bring together the heads of state and government of the member states of the hemisphere to discuss shared political issues, affirm common values, and commit to concerted actions at the national and regional level, in order to face present and future challenges faced by the countries of the Americas.
During the Summits, meetings of representatives of civil society from the countries of the hemisphere are held and regional and multilateral organizations are invited.