LA leaders last week hosted The People’s Summit for Democracy from June 8-10 at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC), which was organized in opposition to the Summit of the Americas. Numerous world leaders, including Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, boycotted in response to the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the Summit of the Americas. The People’s Summit was intended to uplift the voices of the working-class people in the Americas and prioritize “people’s democracy first,” as stated on their website. The Biden Administration’s summit did not represent the people of the Americas, according to the organizers of the People’s Summit. “The exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have already made Biden’s summit a political disaster,” organizers stated in a declaration letter.
Latin America has not been at the top of the foreign policy agenda since Biden took office and it should be given priority. Rather than give a cold shoulder to those we disagree with, we should try to negotiate and work with them to strengthen human rights and their economies. The Summit of Americas is an opportunity for the U.S. to improve relations with our neighbors to the south. Hopefully, enough of them will show up to have a meaningful dialogue.