Biden Admin Manages to Do Something Right, Disinvites Cuba From Summit of the Americas in June

Biden Admin Manages to Do Something Right, Disinvites Cuba From Summit of the Americas in June
State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

Around midday Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, as most Americans were easing into Memorial Day weekend, the Los Angeles Times published a foreign affairs piece in its politics section that is kind of a big deal.

But it did its readers and any casual onlookers via social media a major disservice, I think, with the snoozetastic headline -“Mexican president unlikely to attend Summit of the Americas in L.A. next month” – which doesn’t really tell you much of anything.

Here’s how the LA Times story begins (again, try your best to stay awake):

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.

So, what’s the story? Readers, it’s hard for me to say this, but the Biden administration has somehow managed to do something right on the foreign policy front. I know it’s hard to believe, as RedState has written here and here, and many other times over the past two years, but stick with me.

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is having a snit fit because his fellow leftist buddies have been uninvited from June’s upcoming event, which takes place every four years, but is being held in the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade. He’s having a good, ol’ stompy-foot session because — get this — Biden isn’t letting Venezuela, Nicaragua, or Cuba’s newest (ahem) “president” Miguel Diaz-Canel come to the party. The LA Times writes:

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.

Here’s the best part, though. Mexico is taking part in the summit. El Presidente is sending a low-level guy. “Instead, he would send a delegate, most likely his more-U.S.-friendly foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard,” according to the LA Times. Well, huh.

In an opinion piece published Friday in the Miami Herald, “CNN en Españolhost Andres Oppenheimer sagely and rather simply waves away the criticism of the US’ move by not only Mexico but several other countries in our hemisphere (though none of the rest, to their credit, tried to throw their weight around like Mexico).

He writes, in part:

As ridiculous as it sounds, Mexico, Argentina and Chile are asking the Biden administration to invite the Cuban dictatorship to June’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, despite credible reports that the regime is committing its worst human-rights violations in more than 20 years.

Yet, despite the rise of government repression on the island, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has been threatening for weeks to boycott the Summit of the Americas unless the Biden administration invites Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Lopez Obrador, who recently visited Cuba, claimed on May 26 that Cuban dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel “is a very decent man, with principles.”

Argentina, Chile and more than a dozen Caribbean countries also have asked the Biden administration that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua be invited, but, unlike Mexico, they did not say that they will boycott the summit.

Oppenheimer also notes that the group’s rules mandate that these types of governments be barred from summit events;

Under a rule approved at the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada, any unconstitutional break of democratic rule in the region is an “insurmountable obstacle” to the participation of a government in the Summit of the Americas.

(I encourage you to read the writer’s full op-ed, to catch up on all of the latest, egregious human rights abuses the regime has imposed on its people.)

Maybe the Biden administration and congressional Democrat leaders are finally beginning to understand they might need to pull back on coddling leftist authoritarians if they ever want to win the White House again. Or it could just be dumb luck. It’s really hard to know why these folks do what they do, as you all have learned by now.

But credit where credit is due here. A free constitutional republic like ours must stand against and marginalize dicatorial regimes — if they’re in our own hemisphere, for national security interests, it’s even more urgent we do so.

In a tweet on Sunday, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chimed in on what’s truly at stake:

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