On Monday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico confirmed he will not attend the Summit of the Americas later this week.
The Summit is being hosted by President Biden and will focus on the ongoing migration crisis at the Southern border.
According to Reuters, Lopez Obrador previously threatened to boycott the event if the Biden administration excluded Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
After the administration confirmed that Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua would not be on the invite list, Lopez Obrador announced his plans to skip the event.
According to the Associated Press, the Mexican president specifically cited Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua’s exclusion as his reason.
“There cannot be an Americas Summit if not all of the continent’s countries participate,” López Obrador said Monday.
NBC News reported that Lopez Obrador noted he would send his foreign minister in his place. However, Lopez Obrador’s decision to forego the event is a blow to Biden’s goals for the Summit.
The AP report also noted that Argentina and Honduras suggested they would support Lopez Obrador’s move. The actions by Mexico’s president and comments by other nations prompted phone calls from both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in hopes of ensuring a high turnout for the event.
With so many no-shows, critics have said the event may well turn out to be an embarrassment for President Joe Biden, who has struggled to reassert U.S. leadership in a region where mistrust of the U.S. runs deep