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PM Briceno leaves to attend Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles

Belize is going to participate in the Summit of the Americas, which officially opens tomorrow in the city of Los Angeles, California. Prime Minister John Briceno left the country today to attend the meeting of leaders of North, Central and South America. Travelling with him on this occasion is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Eamon Courtenay and Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Stuart Leslie. The summit comes amid the US push to foster what officials there call a more cooperative approach with Latin American countries. However, Reuters (roy-ters) News agency said today that progress is likely to be threatened by the announced boycott by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, which the US left off the summit’s guest list, citing human rights abuses and a lack of democracy. Beyond Mexico, none of the leaders of the so-called Northern Triangle, a region of high poverty that includes El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, were set to attend the gathering, with leader-level meetings scheduled to begin on Wednesday. Prime Minister Briceno is expected to participate in those leader-level meetings and this is seen as particularly important because he currently is the chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). PM Briceno returns home on June 11 and in his absence, Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde is acting as PM.