Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro announced that he gave up on his plan to crash the Summit of the Americas this week, having previously promised to attend come “rain, hail, or shine.”
“The truth is that this summit is not in our priorities, it has never been,” Maduro said in a televised speech from the Miraflores Presidential Palace. “At that summit, there is no issue that will be decided. That summit is a real waste of time.”
“However, the government of Peru illegally took away the security requirements needed for a president for such a summit,” he continued. “They took away all the security from the Venezuelan delegation.”
“For that reason, last night I decided that I am not going to the Summit of the Americas and instead will stay at home with the Venezuelan people.”
The cancelation comes after the government of Peru maintained they would not allow a Venezuelan delegation to attend, with the country’s foreign minister, Nestor Popolizio, recently arguing that the Maduro regime’s use of fraudulent elections “negates even the slightest notion of democracy and represent an insurmountable impediment to taking part in the Summit of the Americas.”
Maduro repeatedly promised he would crash the summit, stating that he would attend “rain, hail, or shine, by air, land or sea,” and even hatched a plan to travel on socialist ally Evo Morales’s plane in an effort to attend.
President Donald Trump will also not attend the summit in light of recent chemical attacks in Syria, although Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will now go in his place.
The pair is expected to discuss the regional response to current political, economic, and humanitarian crisis taking place in Venezuela. The U.S. is currently weighing up additional economic sanctions against the Maduro regime in response to multiple human rights abuses and the degrading of democratic institutions.
Speaking of Trump’s decision not to attend, Maduro claimed that Trump did not want to meet other leaders due to their bad smells and was scared of meeting him face to face.
“He asked right-wing governments to exclude Maduro because he did not want to meet me face to face,” Maduro said. “I was going to go, but Donald Trump says that he has no time for Lima because he has to address issues around the world.”
“He does not want to sit down with Enrique Peña Nieto because he is small potatoes to him, not with (Mauricio) Macri because he smells bad, and not with Juan Manuel Santos because he smells like piss,” he continued. “He despises them, uses them and abuses them. Not Venezuela though, Venezuela has dignity. ”