CARICOM members are still discussing the possibility of boycotting the upcoming Summit of the Americas that’s set to take place in Los Angeles, California, from June 6, according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Rowley said some regional leaders have raised the possibility of boycotting the event if Cuba and Venezuela are not invited, but no final decision has been taken yet.
“It is being discussed and it has been discussed. Before I came here, there was a Caricom heads meeting at midday and we discussed this matter and we are still discussing it. People have different views and we are trying to come to a consensus position because we would love to have a Caricom position but sometimes it’s difficult for all of us to see eye-to-eye on everything all the time,” Dr Rowley said.
The Prime Minister said the position of the Trinidad and Tobago government is that all countries within the Americas—from Canada to Chile—should be invited.
“Our position is that it should be all-inclusive. It shouldn’t be exclusive, where you pick and choose who comes to the summit because the Americas is all of us, even though we have different styles of government or our circumstances may be different, it is inclusivity that will allow us to work together…that position isn’t shared by all…and we are currently trying to see how many persons we can get together on that,” he said.
“Cuba has its difficulties with the United States with its sanctions…Venezuela…Nicaragua…If the host country is saying you are not going to be part of it, we are saying that’s not the right way.”
On April 27, US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols described Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua’s attendance at the Californian summit as “unlikely.”
In recent months, Cuba and the US have squabbled over several issues.
The US is struggling to deal with a rising number of undocumented migrants crossing from the Mexico border, involving many Cubans, while tensions have also increased over the Cuban government’s handling of domestic anti-government protests and the US’ continued sanctions on the island.
Meanwhile, US relations with Venezuela have long been problematic, with the US continuing harsh sanctions on the South American state and failure to recognize Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s head of state.
The theme of the 2022 Summit of Americas is Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future.