The United States did not invite Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to the virtual democracy summit, which it organized on December 9 and 10, because, although they are considered democracies, they see that they face “some challenges”. . “
This was explained Thursday by Juan Gonzalez, the principal Latin American advisor to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, at a remote press conference.
This forum will be attended by 110 governments from around the world, as well as members of civil society and the private sector, with a session of heads of state, sponsored by Biden, and other thematic, in the presence of government representatives. It is not governmental.
The guest list includes allies from around the world that the United States considers democracies, from European countries such as Spain and France to Fiji, Israel, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.
Some of the guests from Latin America are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay; Nor are there Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, except for Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and others.
Gonzalez acknowledged that some of the countries that would not participate “may be democracies, but have very disturbing activities,” which prompted the United States to exclude them.
“Cuba is clearly not invited, Nicaragua is not invited, Nicolas Maduro is clearly not, but Juan Guaido, although at the same time, you know, there are democracies that I think have some challenges in places like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador,” he added.
Next week’s summit aims to promote democracy, defend against authoritarianism, fight corruption, and advance human rights.
Regarding the exclusion of El Salvador, Gonzalez specified that the country had “a confused populist with a mandate to change the democratic institutions it has undermined, including using the legislature to send armed soldiers to the Legislative Assembly.”
And from Guatemala, he referred to the actions of the Prosecutor General, Consuelo Porras, approved by the United States, threats against civil society, as well as “endemic” corruption in this country.
Regarding Honduras, Biden’s adviser stressed that despite the fact that Washington recognizes that it is a “democracy and a longtime partner,” it is concerned about the way it has not tackled corruption.
“We want to welcome Chiomara Castro (at the live summit) next year if we see any progress,” Gonzalez said, referring to the de facto president-elect of Honduras.
Gonzalez did not want to anticipate Biden when it came to anticipating the potential commitments that would emerge from this summit, although he stated that the intent was to mobilize resources, for example, to “defend journalists,” who are frequently subject to legal assaults only. And exclusively for the report.
Therefore, “we will find a way to expand support for the work of journalists,” Gonzalez revealed, adding that the meeting will lead to other initiatives to support civil society.
And regarding the way in which these commitments will be achieved, the American official announced that the United States will invite to attend the summit, which will be held face to face next year, those who fulfill the promises made by the meeting next week.