Democrat Senator Bob Menendez accused Mexican President Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador of trying to blackmail President Joe Biden into including non-democratic regimes in the guest list for the Summit of the Americas.
The accusation comes as López Obrador skipped the U.S.-hosted Summit
According to The Hill:
“I think President López Obrador basically tried to blackmail President Bident into insisting countries that are not democratic, countries like Venezuela, Cuba [President] Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua, that are dictators and despots, should have been invited to the summit,” Menéndez told MSNBC’s José Díaz Balart.
López Obrador was the highest-profile leader to skip the Summit, ongoing this week in Los Angeles, but he was joined in the snub by the leaders of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Menéndez told Díaz Balart that Mexico is one of America’s most important bilateral relationships in the world, but said Biden made the right choice to exclude the three countries that have either not signed or openly defy the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
“I applaud President Biden for upholding the standard of the Summit to be a summit of democracies,” said Menéndez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Former President Trump did not attend the Summit in Peru in 2018.