(Bloomberg) — Jair Bolsonaro is considering skipping a high-level regional summit next month hosted by his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden to focus on his re-election campaign, according to a minister to the Brazilian president.
Although a final decision has not yet been made, Bolsonaro is currently leaning toward staying in Brazil and spending his time campaigning ahead of October’s presidential election rather than attending Biden’s Summit of the Americas, the report said. minister, who asked not to be identified as the plans are not public.
Brazilian diplomats are still trying to convince Bolsonaro of the importance of the trip as they prepare the ground for his possible visit to Los Angeles, where the summit will be held June 6-10, according to other government officials in Brasilia and Washington. who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said that while the country will be represented at the summit, Bolsonaro’s participation has yet to be decided. He referred any further questions to the president’s office, which said the leader’s agenda has not been confirmed.
The possibility of Bolsonaro not attending the summit, which was reported on Wednesday by local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, would be a blow to the Biden administration after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador threatened earlier this week. with not attending the meeting unless all Latin American leaders are welcome. The United States is expected to exclude the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, arguing that they do not respect democracy.
Brazil and Mexico are the two largest economies in Latin America and the absence of their leaders would reduce the scope of the event.
Focus on the campaign
Rather than joining López Obrador’s position, Bolsonaro is concerned about the impact of leaving the country at a time when former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is leading in the polls. He is only considering leaving the country for special and quick trips, the minister said, adding that Los Angeles is too far from Brazil and the summit schedule is too long.
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Bolsonaro, who was a close ally of then-President Donald Trump and visited him both at the White House and at Mar-a-Lago, has yet to speak to Biden since the US president’s inauguration. He was one of the last presidents to congratulate him on his victory over Trump in 2020.
The inclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, three autocratic governments that the US does not recognize as democracies, has been a growing point of division with Latin American leaders.
In addition to López Obrador expressing concern about the exclusion of countries, several members of the 15 countries that make up the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, have said that the bloc could boycott the summit if Cuba is not invited and if the US is not invited. The US insists on recognizing Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela. Caricom will meet at the end of May in Guyana to establish a collective position on the matter.
The Biden Administration is working on a proposal to boost Latin American economies and help meet the challenge of rapidly increasing migration to the US as part of the summit, an issue expected to be the central theme of the event.
Bolsonaro Mulls Missing Regional Summit in Another Blow to Biden
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