The ninth edition of the Summit of the Americas began this Monday (6th), in Los Angeles, United States, with the opening of the Civil Society Forum, amid the controversy over the exclusion of the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“It is an honor to welcome you to the Civil Society Forum, which takes place within the framework of the ninth Summit of the Americas”, said Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The OAS leader stated that the meeting takes place at a “historic moment”, which should serve to “strengthen inter-American relations”, which reflect the desire to “renew the alliance” among the countries of the region.
Almagro argued that it is necessary to “defend with firmness and determination” democracy and find solutions to the structural problems that affect the continent.
In the first of two days of the Civil Society Forum, topics such as environmental protection, the defense of democracy, the construction of sustainable cities and the strengthening of the region to face global emergencies.
The organization of the Summit of the Americas was marked by controversy, due to the guest list by the United States, which has the prerogative to host the meeting .
The White House decided that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela would not participate in the meeting, considering that they are not democratic governments.
Today, the president of Mexico , Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that he would not be at the Summit, as well as the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, due to restrictions on the guest list.
The event will take place in Los Angeles until next Friday 10), although the plenary sessions with the presence of heads of state will only start on Thursday (9), according to the schedule released by the US Department of State.
This is the first time that the United States has hosted the Summit of the Americas since the first edition, which took place in 1994, in M iami, still during the government presided over by Bill Clinton.