MEXICO CITY —
Despite a major U.S. lobbying effort, the president of Mexico hinted strongly on Friday that he will not attend a high-stakes regional summit next month in Los Angeles because the Biden administration refuses to invite a trio of leftist governments.
Mexico is arguably the most important Latin American participant in the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which administration officials have said will include a special focus on immigration. It starts June 6.
In his daily marathon press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was still awaiting a response from President Biden or the U.S. State Department to his demand that all countries in the Western Hemisphere be invited.
Every host nation for the summit, which occurs every three or four years, has discretion in drawing up the guest list, and most if not all countries are routinely included. This is the first time the summit is taking place in the U.S. since its 1994 inaugural session in Miami.
Administration officials have made it clear they will not invite Venezuela or Nicaragua, because those countries’ authoritarian leaders do not represent the model of democracy Washington and others in the region seek to promote.
U.S. officials also said initially they would not invite Cuba, then suggested they might welcome a “low level” delegation from Havana. A diminished status did not appeal to Cuban officials, however, and President Miguel Díaz-Canel said earlier this week he will not attend.