United States confirms the presence of Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega at America’s summit

United States confirms the presence of Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega at America's summit

America’s summit is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles next month. (Photo: Reproduction)

The United States said this week that it would under no circumstances invite representatives of Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuelan government to next month’s US summit in Los Angeles, denying speculation that this could happen.

“Absolutely not. We don’t recognize it as a sovereign government,” summit coordinator Kevin O’Reilly told a Senate committee when asked about possible involvement by the Maduro government.

Asked about attending the summit by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who rules with authoritarian practices, O’Reilly was also outspoken. “No,” he said.

The United States considers Maduro’s government illegitimate, recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president since 2019. Last week, however, the US lifted some sanctions against Venezuela while looking for bridges to negotiate with the Maduro regime.

O’Reilly was less forceful in answering questions about the possible involvement of Cuban government representatives. He said the decision rests with the White House, but as far as he knows, no invitation has been sent yet.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel announced on Wednesday that he would not participate “under any circumstances”.

US President Joe Biden wants the US summit to promote democracy in Latin America and generate greater cooperation on immigration issues, a priority for the United States.

However, he risks seeing the dome empty. Mexico, one of Latin America’s two largest countries, has indicated that it will boycott the meeting if the United States does not invite all the countries in the hemisphere. The country was followed by Bolivia. Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said Friday he would announce whether he would go to Los Angeles.

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President Jair Bolsonaro only confirmed his participation on Wednesday, when Biden sent an envoy to offer a bilateral meeting between Biden and Bolsonaro — which, as far as we know, would convince the Brazilian president. Never spoke directly for the purpose.

O’Reilly said the government is “in constant talks” with Mexico, with López Obrador saying he will not attend “unless everyone is invited.”

“We’re definitely talking to the Mexican government and all the governments in the region about the structure and organization,” O’Reilly said.

The Biden administration also indicated that it plans to invite Latin American civil society groups to the meeting.