Peruvian Lawmakers Call for Inclusion of All at the Summit of the Americas

By Gustavo A Maranges and Bill Hackwell on May 22, 2022

Margot Palacios and Silvana Robles

The IX Summit of the Americas to take place in Los Angeles , June 6-10, continues to generate news in the region and it is not exactly what the Biden Administration was looking for. Friday, Peruvian lawmakers Margot Palacios and Silvana Robles declared their opposition to a summit that would take place without Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

“We need a more tolerant and inclusive Summit of the Americas,” Palacios said. The parliamentarians criticized the fact that the U.S. invitations have been biased by ideological prejudices.

Likewise, Robles said, “If the United States really wants to make an inclusive invitation, it cannot discriminate against countries with a different political position.”

The reactions of the Peruvian legislators constitute one more element of pressure on the Biden administration. Both parliamentarians belong to the ruling Peru Libre Party. Thus, it is a message that casts doubt on the participation of President Pedro Castillo, especially considering the war he is waging against the Peruvian right wing, which is loyal to US interests.

These mounting statements, coming from those forced for decades to be quiet, are another strong indicator that most of the countries in the region oppose the attitude of the U.S. government. The Summit of the Americas could be the perfect opportunity to initiate a constructive dialogue among all political tendencies in the region and to establish coherent and coordinated positions on phenomena of utmost regional importance, such as migration, access to health care, poverty; all conducted in an atmosphere of inclusiveness and mutual respect.

However, the ideological prejudices of the U.S. ruling class have arrogantly assumed the role of deciding who can come and who can’t as if the host country should have that privilege. Since the beginning the Biden Administration has alienated a growing number of Latin American and Caribbean countries by saying that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela would not be invited because they don’t meet a vague democratic standard defined by them, thereby excluding three governments that have much to contribute to the main topics of the agenda.

The first one to disagree with Biden’s decision was the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), together with Bolivian and Honduran presidents Luis Arce and Xiomara Castro, who conditioned their participation to the attendance of all the governments of the region. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), made up of 14 states and 6 overseas territories from European countries, joined this position. Similarly, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez and Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola urged the United States to guarantee an inclusive summit which respects the diversity that characterizes the region. Although neither of these governments has taken a stand as formidable as AMLO or Arce, their statements suggest that they get the drift that this Summit could be doomed to failure if the current situation does not change between now and the short time before the Summit is to begin.

Meanwhile, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei also announced he would not attend the summit. In his statement, the president said his decision was in response to the State Department’s recent measures against the Central American country’s Attorney General Consuelo Porras and her husband, who were banned from entering the US for being considered “corrupt agents”.

Although Giammattei’s position is not related to the unjust exclusion of three heads of state, it is another example of the regional rejection to the US colonial attitude and it’s meddling in other countries affairs. This case is even more relevant if we take into account that the Guatemalan president, who is far from progressive, has been one of the closest allies of Washington in the region.

The opposition to the exclusions of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua has found strong support in the social movements in the United States. Progressive forces have joined efforts to organize the People’s Summit for Democracy nearby on June 8-9-10. The initiative, led by The People’s Forum, that will be covered by Resumen Latinoamericano correspondents, is going to be a parallel event to give voice to all those who have been marginalized from the official event because they are opposed to US foreign policy. Undoubtedly, this will be the real summit. For those who can’t make it across the border to Los Angeles for that, the Workers’ Summit of the Americas will take place in Tijuana Mexico on June 10-12.

The debate surrounding the Summit of the Americas makes it possible to forecast that the event has a strong possibility of exposing not just US failure to establish a coherent foreign policy toward Latin America but its shrinking influence in the region. It is evident that Washington does not understand that the regional scenario has changed. Therefore, its colonialist and reactionary strategy only isolates it more and more from the hemisphere it finds itself in.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English