Countries and territories belonging to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Wednesday called for the June 6-10 IX Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles to be an inclusive event that brings the hemisphere together.
The group penned a declaration in this regard during the 25th Caricom Foreign Ministers' Summit (COFCOR) and posted it on the alliance's webpage to address the controversy stemming from a possible boycott by some Caricom territories to the California gathering in light of the United States' refusal to invite Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, arguing that those countries do not have democratic governments.
The COFCOR meeting was held virtually last week and the document was fine-tuned this week before its publication.
The COFCOR statement also notes that relations between Caricom and the United States have been revitalized with a series of high-level meetings, including talks with Vice President Kamala Harris, who met with Caricom leaders in Washington DC April 29 to strengthen collaboration in the fight against drug trafficking and climate change, among other issues.
According to Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caricom countries have not yet reached a consensus on their presence at the IX Summit of the Americas. As a representative of Trinidad and Tobago I will be attending the summit and I hope that, if not all, most of my Caricom colleagues will be there. We have important issues to engage the United States on, Rowley said. Guyana's President Irfaan Ali has also confirmed he will attend the summit.
Caricom President and Belize Prime Minister John Briceño acknowledged that Washington was pushing for the regional organization to fully support the summit after announcements from the Presidents of Mexico, Bolivia, and Guatemala that they would not attend the Summit as is.
It will be the first time that the US hosts the Summit of the Americas since its opening session in 1994 in Miami.