Another Foreign Leader Snubs Biden

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be conspicuously absent from a Los Angeles summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden next month. Bolsonaro has not specifically declared that Biden is his reason for skipping the Summit of the Americas this year, but as a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump Bolsonaro has found himself stuck in an antagonistic relationship with the White House since Biden took office.

Biden’s summit falls apart

Unfortunately, for Biden, the upcoming Summit of the Americas is starting to look like it might leave Biden speaking to an empty room in Los Angeles.

The Organization of American States (OAS) has held a series of summits meant to bring together the leaders of countries in North and South America to discuss issues relevant to the hemisphere as a whole.

This will be the second summit hosted by the United States, but Biden has already driven much of the hemisphere to boycott the event.

Bolsonaro is only the latest Latin American leader who has decided to skip the meeting. Bolsonaro has been accused by the White House of undermining democracy for questioning the fairness of Brazil’s elections, which may have influenced his decision to not attend the summit.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is already leading a movement of states threatening to boycott due to their frustration with Biden’s handling of the gathering so far.

The White House has not formally invited Latin American leaders yet, and it is planning to exclude Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from the summit altogether.

Latin American nations object to exclusion plans

The Biden administration is banning these nations from the summit for being adversarial towards the United States and undemocratic.

The Mexican president and others have criticized the decision and have called on Biden to include all North and South American countries, as they feel that selectively excluding certain nations in the hemisphere defeats the purpose of the summit.

Biden now finds himself opposed by both conservative and leftist leaders who represent a huge portion of the hemisphere’s population.

If Brazil and Mexico refuse to attend the summit they will shatter any legitimacy it has as an inclusive gathering of North and South American governments.

Biden may even skip his own summit if it starts to look like a potential embarrassment; the war in Ukraine could be convenient excuse to keep the president away if necessary.

In that case Biden may instead choose to have Kamala Harris represent the United States at the summit. Leaving the vice president to speak to an empty room in Biden’s place would be nothing out of the ordinary for this administration.

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