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Montevideo, December 2nd 2022 - 20:58 UTC

 

 

President Lacalle tests positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Summit of the Americas

Monday, June 6th 2022 - 19:17 UTC
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Lacalle had been among the first regional leaders to accept the invitation to the Summit. Lacalle had been among the first regional leaders to accept the invitation to the Summit.

Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou has tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore skip this week's Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, he announced on his Twitter account.

“The result of the test showed that I am positive for COVID 19. As a result of this situation I must cancel all activities for the next few days,” Lacalle posted on Twitter.

He was scheduled to attend the IX Summit of the Americas in what was going to be his second trip to the United States since taking office on March 1, 2020.

The Uruguayan president spoke at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on September 22, after participating in Mexico DF in the VI Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Former US Senator Chris Dodd had met at the Uruguayan capital with Lacalle and Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo to review the upcoming Summit, which several Latin American leaders are boycotting following Washington's decision to exclude Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for their undemocratic governments.

Among those foregoing the continental event is Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). “I am not going to the summit because not all the countries of America are invited

and I believe in the need to change the policy that has been imposed for centuries: exclusion.”

For similar reasons, Bolivian leader Luis Arce Catacora will also miss the event, as will Guatemala's Alejandro Giammatei and Honduras' Xiomara Castro.

In a last-minute decision, Argentina's Alberto Fernández and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro announced they would accept President Joseph Biden's invitation, even though the latter's administration has not moved an iota from its original stance:

“The United States continues to maintain reserves about the lack of democratic spaces and the human rights situation in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Consequently, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela will not be invited to participate in this Summit,” a Biden administration official was quoted as saying Monday.

The presidential plenaries in Los Angeles are scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The summit will test Biden's influence in the region, which has been waning over time and has become a key geopolitical factor at a time Europe is going through a series of realignments amid the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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