“We are not interested” in going to Summit of the Americas, says the Nicaraguan president
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Wednesday that he is not interested in participating in the Summit of the Americas to be hosted by the United States in June in Los Angeles, where some leaders have already conditioned their presence to the exclusion of others.
“I say from here to the Yankee: forget it, we are not interested in being in that Summit, we are not interested (…) that summit does not exalt anyone,” said Ortega during an activity in Managua about this June meeting.
Washington, which has not yet issued the invitations, stated that respect for democracy is a condition to attend the summit.
The head of U.S. diplomacy for the Americas, Brian Nichols, had pointed out that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela “do not respect” the Inter-American Democratic Charter of 2001.
“We have to make ourselves respected, we cannot be asking the Yankee, begging him that we want to go to his Summit. We are not encouraged by their summit,” Ortega said.
The president said he understood the concerns of Latin American presidents -such as Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador- “who have been questioning (…) the fact that the Yankees are marginalizing Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua”, he said.
Following Washington’s warnings, in addition to the president of Mexico, the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, also announced that he is making his attendance conditional on there being no exclusions at the next hemispheric summit to be held from June 6 to 10 in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the president of Guatemala, Alejadro Giammattei, has already announced that he will not attend, after rejecting criticism from the U.S. government of the appointment of Consuelo Porras as Attorney General for four more years, despite the fact that she has been sanctioned for corruption.
For her part, the leftist President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, asked not to exclude any country, while the Chilean Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, has asked that the convocation be “as broad as possible” and recalled that the exclusion in this forum of countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba “has not yielded results”.
Ortega, meanwhile, urged to strengthen the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which emerged in 2011 as an integration body without the presence of the United States. “We Latin Americans have to defend ourselves so that they respect us,” he said and proposed that CELAC be the one invited by the United States.