Nicaraguan president says he’s ‘not interested’ in attending US-hosted summit

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Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega attends a dos días meeting with representatives of the ALBA group at the Palacio de la Revolución in La Habana, Cuba, December 14, 2021. Alberto Roque/Pool vía REUTERS

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MANAGUA, May 19 (Reuters) – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has said his government is “not interested” in participating in the United States-hosted Summit of the Americas next month, which some leaders have criticized for information according to which he could exclude the Central American country with Cuba. and the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Nicaragua was previously informed that it would be excluded from the summit, which will take place in Los Angeles, according to a person in Washington familiar with the matter. Read more

“We’re not interested in being at that peak,” Ortega said at a public event late Wednesday. “This summit does not pay homage to anyone, on the contrary, it dirties it, it defiles it. We Latin Americans must defend ourselves so that they respect us.”

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Ortega won a fourth straight term in November after jailing rivals and cracking down on critical media, sparking international criticism. He frequently accused the United States of being interventionist and trying to undermine his government.

He added in his Wednesday speech that Latin American leaders were already meeting through the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), made up of 32 countries.

A senior State Department official said in April that Cuba, Nicaragua and the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would likely be excluded because the summit is supposed to focus on democracy in the region. Read more

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged all countries to be included and said he couldn’t attend otherwise. He told reporters on Thursday that he was expecting a response from US President Joe Biden this week after raising his concerns with US Special Adviser Christopher Dodd. Read more

The Biden administration on Thursday accused Cuba of stoking controversy over its possible exclusion from the summit to stand up to the United States and distract from its human rights record at home. Read more

(This story corrects fifth paragraph to show that CELAC is made up of 32 countries, not 33)

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Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Written by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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