By Brian Ellsworth
MIAMI (Reuters) – Most Caribbean Community member nations plan to attend the Summit of the Americas, according to two sources familiar with the situation, as some leaders call for a boycott if Washington excludes its ideological adversaries in the region.
Latin American leaders including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have threatened to skip the summit, which starts on June 6 in Los Angeles, if the United States does not invite Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Thirteen of the 14 member nations of the group known as Caricom are planning to join the event, according to a senior Caribbean nation official and a Washington-based Caribbean advisor who have been involved in talks about the issue.
Caribbean countries that had been considering skipping the summit were encouraged by recent Biden administration measures toward Cuba and Venezuela, the official said.
“We take the view that it is far better to attend the summit … recognizing that Biden has moved from the very hard-line position that he was following,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.
Both sources said the lone Caricom hold-out nation is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The country’s prime minister, Ralph Gonsalves, in a May 11 letter seen by Reuters called on Caricom leaders to boycott the summit over the exclusion of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
A senior State Department official said in April that the three countries were unlikely to be invited, but Biden administration officials last week said a representative of Cuba could receive an invitation.
Caricom has a total of 15 members including Montserrat, which is an overseas territory of Great Britain.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, Editing by Louise Heavens)