The presence of leaders of CARICOM member states and associate members at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, from June 6th to June 10th 2022, is not guaranteed.
Their attendance is uncertain because the United States’ relationship with two Latin American countries, Cuba and Venezuela, remains strained - leaving the attendance of Cuban and Venezuelan leaders at the summit uncertain.
On April 27th, US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols described Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua’s attendance at the Californian summit as “unlikely.”
Nichols said that the summit would focus on the Western Hemisphere’s democracies.
In recent months, Cuba and the US have squabbled over a number of 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.
According to Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Dr Amery Browne, CARICOM is of the position that it must continue to advocate at all levels for the inclusion of the governments of Cuba and Venezuela at the Summit of the Americas.
Minister Browne said to Guardian Media, via a message, that, “Trinidad and Tobago has been doing its part in that regard, led by Prime Minister Rowley, and we have raised this issue with US Special Advisor for the 9th Summit former Senator Chris Dodd and with a range of other contacts within the US system.”
“If upon issuance of the invitations to Heads of Government of our hemisphere, it emerges that the Governments of Cuba and Venezuela have been excluded, CARICOM Heads would then make further pronouncements on the matter. Our position is crystal clear that the best decision is to convene a Summit which is inclusive rather than exclusionary so that the family of nations of the Americas can sit at the table to discuss and work together on the key issues that confront all our people.”
The theme of the 2022 Summit of Americas is “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future.”