“Each country has the right to decide whether to attend the Summit of the Americas,” said a U.S. official Tuesday in response to Ecuador’s declaration that it will not attend the international conference in April held in Colombia.
A U.S. Department of State spokesperson told Spanish news agency EFE, “Obviously we would like to see widespread participation by countries in the hemisphere because we believe that the summit offers an opportunity for regional leaders to discuss issues that affect all citizens,” but took a neutral stance by reiterating the fact that the decision to attend was up to each country.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa released a letter addressed to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos saying that “the president of Ecuador will not attend a single Summit of the Americas until the the demands of the Great Fatherland are met.”
The U.S. is the only country to oppose Cuba’s attendance based on the fact that it is not considered a democracy and therefore doesn’t meet the requirements established in the 2001 Summit of the Americas.
Thirty-three other leaders, including American President Barack Obama and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have confirmed their attendance at the sixth Summit of the Americas which will be held in Cartagena from April 9 to 14.