Prime Minister John Briceno in his capacity as the Pro-temp chairman of CARICOM told Love News that the region is seriously considering boycotting the Summit of the Americas. He says that CARICOM will continue to insist that countries like Cuba and Venezuela be invited to participate in the summit which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, California in June. PM Briceno underscored the importance of the participation of all countries in the Americas to participate.
John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “If we have the Summit of the Americas, that everybody should be invited. President Obama invited Cuba to the Summit of the Ameicas. President Trump invited Cuba to the Summit of Americas so we believe that President Biden should also invite Cuba. We have, we made that decision then but since that decision, we have been having meetings with different officials of the U.S. Government. We have former Senator Dodd, Chris Dodd that was visiting us. I’ve been on the phone with him. He met with us in Barbados making a case as to why it is important for us to be able to attend the Summit of the Americas. Whilst I was in Cuba, we had a Zoom Meeting with Vice President Harris, again, where again we spoke about different issues. I spoke on the financial recovery but during the entire discussions, again, they were making the decision, or making the point that it is important for CARICOM to be able to attend the Summit of the Americas. What we will do now in the next week, within the next week or so, within the next few days, I will be in contact with our colleagues to find out what is going to be the final decision whether we should attend or not.”
The PM also expressed CARICOM’s position on the US’s sanctions and embargo on Cuba. Briceno says CARICOM is calling on the US to lift the sanctions.
John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “We do feel that the sanctions that the American Government has put on Cuba, especially now that they have deemed them a terrorist friendly nation and have locked them off completely especially including financial services, I think it’s verging on the criminality. It is unfortunate what they have done because by the amount of punishment that they are putting on the Cuban people, that the people, the Cuban people are suffering. In some instances because they could not get medicines. I met a family where they are telling me their mother died because they did not have access to medicines because of these sanctions and I’m, I am urging President Biden and to the U.S. Government to remove those sanctions from the people because it is the Cuban people that are suffering and we stand in solidarity with the Cuban people.”