Mexican President Blames ‘Hate’-Filled Cuban-Americans for Summit Boycott: ‘Human Rights Are Violated… So What?’

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA - MAY 05: President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delive
Josue Decavele/Getty Images

Leftist Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed on Monday morning that he would not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in a rant in which he made various false statements accusing Cuban-Americans of “genocide” and portraying President Joe Biden as a hostage to Cuban-American voters.

López Obrador — a far-left socialist admirer of Fidel Castro and key ally to Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro — had been threatening to boycott the event for weeks as the Biden administration remained mum on the invite list. The Summit of the Americas is a meeting convening the heads of state of members of the Organization of American States (OAS) every three to four years. The OAS Charter explicitly states that members must promote democratic values, leaving Cuba off the list for most of the existence of the Summit until President Barack Obama greenlit its participation in 2015.

Cuban government officials, agents, and assorted regime representatives engaged in public violence — including the gang-beating of dissidents and organization of mobs to shut down Summit events — in both the 2015 Summit in Panama and the 2018 Summit in Peru, where Venezuelan regime agents aided in the mob scenes.

The Biden administration confirmed last week that it would not invite Venezuela or another communist dictatorship, Nicaragua. Biden officials did not offer any clarity on Cuba’s invitation until Monday, long after puppet dictator Miguel Diáz-Canel said he would not attend even if invited.

Asked by reporters during a regular press conference on Monday, López Obrador confirmed his boycott and blamed the Cuban-American community, particularly in Florida, for making it impossible for Biden to invite the Castro regime to the event. López Obrador did not address the fact that the OAS charter excludes regional dictatorships from organization events.

“Regarding the summit I can tell the Mexican people that I will not attend the Summit. On my behalf and that of the government, [Foreign Secretary] Marcelo Ebrard is going,” López Obrador said. “I am not going to the Summit because all the countries of America were not invited and I believe in the need to change the policy that has been imposing itself for centuries, the exclusion, the desire to dominate with no good reason.”

The Mexican president called Biden a “good man” and repeatedly stated he “lamented” missing the opportunity to speak with him, saying he was planning a visit to the White House in July. He blamed his absence at the summit on Cuban-Americans generally in America, complaining that they “have a lot of influence” that they are using to perpetrate “genocide” against Cubans on the island.

“I have a very good relationship with President Biden, he is a good man,” López Obrador said. “In this case, I feel that there are a lot of pressures on the part of the Republicans and, above all, from some leaders of the Republican Party and also in the Democrat Party that have to do with the Cuban community in Florida and in the United States, who have a lot of influence.”

“From my point of view [they] are acting with hate and … do not want brotherhood of the peoples and are making a dignified and selfless people suffer very much, such as the people of Cuba,” the Mexican president claimed.

López Obrador expressed resentment that, in his view, the relatively small Cuban-American community had more political influence in the country than Mexican-Americans.

“Our Cuban brothers in Florida, in the United States, how many are there – 4 million? How many Mexicans are in the United States? 40 million! But they have a great influence and they are untouchable,” the Mexican president claimed.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are 2.4 million Hispanics of Cuban descent in the United States as of 2019, compared to 37 million Hispanics of Mexican descent.

López Obrador then railed against the alleged “embargo” the United States has placed on Cuba, which only modestly limits economic engagement. In contrast, Cuba’s embargo on commerce with the United States, imposed from Havana, much more significantly blocks the Cuban people from economic exchanges with America.

“How is it possible for there to maintain a blockade that prevents the arrival of food to the Cuban people, that blocks the arrival of medicine? That is a type of genocide, of a tremendous human rights violation,” the Mexican president said.

The American side of the embargo explicitly allows the arrival of food and medicine to the Cuban people.

The Mexican president went on to dismiss the extensive evidence of extreme human rights abuses by the Castro regime against the Cuban people, including imprisoning children for their political beliefs and torturing political dissidents.

“They say ‘human rights are violated in Cuba, human rights are violated in Guatemala, human rights are violated in I-don’t-know-where.’ So what?” López Obrador asked.” The blockade against a people by a power is not a flagrant human rights violation? That is why [I say] no to the Summit, and a hug to President Biden.”

López Obrador condemned Cuban-Americans in Florida and referred to Cuban-American members of the Republican Party as “the most inhuman, anti-immigrant, authoritarian ones,” but saved personal disgust for Sen. Robert Menendez (who he called “Méndez” on one occasion), a Democrat from New Jersey.

“There is a senator, Méndez, Menéndez, yes, from the Democrat Party,” the Mexican president said. “Notice how difficult the situation is for President Biden. There are 50 and 50, the senators – 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. And one of those 50 is the president of the foreign relations commission of the Senate and it’s that gentleman, Menendez. And he is from the Cuban community. And this one has enormous influence.”

In reality, the Senate is comprised of 100 members, and its partisan configuration is up to voters in individual states. Currently, the Senate is home to 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two independents.

Elsewhere in his 25-minute answer to whether he would be attending the Summit of the Americas, López Obrador proposed a European Union-style regional governance body for the Americas, urged Biden not to worry about the results of the November midterm elections, declared Menendez personally responsible for the “failure” of the Summit of the Americas, and falsely claimed that Cuban-Americans support ending the embargo but are treated like “sheep” by politicians.

“Well, that was the answer to your question,” López Obrador concluded to laughter.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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