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The New York Times: “Remarkable” speech by PM Briceno at Summit of the Americas

Posted: Monday, June 13, 2022. 3:38 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Last week, the Summit of the Americas was hosted in Los Angeles, California.

There had been much controversy over the Summit invitations and several countries opted not to attend the event citing the exclusion of some leaders of the Americas region.

That is because the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua were excluded from the Summit since officials say U.S. concerns about human rights and lack of democracy in the 3 countries weighed too heavily against inviting them.

The renowned New York Times referred to Prime Minister John Briceno’s speech at the Summit as “remarkable” after he publicly “chastised” US President, Joe Biden for the exclusion of leaders from Cuba and Venezuela.

“At this most critical juncture, when the future of our hemisphere is at stake, we stand divided. And that is why the Summit of the Americas should have been inclusive,” Briceno asserted.

“It is incomprehensible that we isolate countries of the Americas that have provided strong leadership and have contributed in the hemisphere on critical issues of our times,” Briceno stressed.

“In fact, it is un-American. The time has come, Mr. President, to lift the blockade,” Briceno added with President Biden just a few feet away from him.

Immediately after Briceno’s address, Argentina’s President, Alberto Fernandez reiterated the absence of the leaders that were excluded saying that the host country should not have the power to impose the right to admission, Reuters report.

And in response, Biden said in his closing remarks that he heard many important ideas and also “some of the disagreements related to participation, on the substantive matters, what I heard was almost unity.”

Mexican President, Andrea Manuel Lopez Obrador did not attend the Summit after he publicly announced that he would only attend if all leaders of the region were included. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard attended on behalf of Lopez- Obrador.


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