World: Cuba's Castro joins Trump in skipping Americas Summit - - PressFrom - US
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World Cuba's Castro joins Trump in skipping Americas Summit

01:20  14 april  2018
01:20  14 april  2018 Source:   ap.org

Trump to visit Latin America amid trade, immigration fights

  Trump to visit Latin America amid trade, immigration fights President Donald Trump will make his inaugural trip to Latin America next week amid an escalating trade fight and his harsh rhetoric on immigration. Trump is set to attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, and will travel to Bogota, Colombia, to promote good governance and democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Administration officials say no news is expected at the summit on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement or on new sanctions on the Venezuelan government. Trump will hold meetings with several regional partners, though the final roster was still being finalized. Trump will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota.

Cuban President Raul Castro joined a steadily growing list of leaders who have followed U. S . President Donald Trump in choosing to send a surrogate to what is shaping up into a decidedly low-key Summit of the Americas .The gathering of Western Hemisphere leaders kicked off

FILE - The president of Cuba , Raul Castro , speaks during a ceremony at the Capitol in Havana, Cuba , Feb. Peruvian ambassador to the U. S . Carlos Pareja says Trump and Castro are among the 14 leaders from the hemisphere that will be in the April 13-14 meeting, which will focus on democratic

Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a press conference in Lima, Peru, Friday, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)© The Associated Press Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a press conference in Lima, Peru, Friday, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

LIMA, Peru — Cuban President Raul Castro joined a steadily growing list of leaders who have followed U.S. President Donald Trump in choosing to send a surrogate to what is shaping up into a decidedly low-key Summit of the Americas.

The gathering of Western Hemisphere leaders kicked off Friday in Peru without the presence of at least five presidents besides Trump — and the list of canceled RSVPs could grow.

Castro had never officially confirmed his attendance but he was widely expected to show up to bid farewell to regional allies as he prepares to step down from the Cuban presidency in a week's time. Instead he sent his Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez to lead the Cuban delegation.

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Cuban President Raul Castro harshly criticized U. S . President Donald Trump ' s immigration, trade and other policies on Sunday as Trump reviews a fragile Castro ’ s speech to a summit of leftist leaders in Venezuela was broadcast by state-run television on Sunday evening. Before taking office, Trump

Cuba , Venezuela. But Trump will not meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro or anyone from the Venezuelan delegation, White House officials said. "Obviously the Cubans will be participating in the summit , so there will be a mixing of regional leaders, but we don't anticipate at this point a direct

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega was also widely expected to snub the event in solidarity with fellow leftist Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who had his invitation withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Paraguay all announced they will be staying home, saying they need to attend to pressing domestic matters and will send alternates instead. Ecuador's president showed up but then quickly returned home after three journalists kidnapped by holdout Colombian rebels were killed.

Analysts said the shrinking list of presidential attendees could be indicative of declining U.S. influence in the hemisphere. Trump is the first U.S. president to ditch the event, which was started by President Bill Clinton in 1994 as a way to assert American trade influence in the region. Trump canceled in order to manage the U.S. response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria.

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US President Barack Obama received a remarkable vote of confidence from Cuban leader Castro , who praised his "humble background" Get the latest headlines

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said in a speech on Saturday that the United States “has pushed the precarious relations with our country back to the Trump ’ s decision followed threats by his top aides in recent weeks to take actions against Cuba to force it to abandon Maduro, something Havana

"It appears that in most of these situations, there are specific and unique reasons for heads of state not to attend," said Matt Clausen, who is in Lima as head of the Washington Office on Latin America. "What has changed since President Trump pulled out is the calculus about the overall importance of the summit."

And it isn't just a rising roster of no-shows that make this year's summit of dubious importance: Presidents from three of Latin America's most populous nations who are attending are all slated to leave office within the next 12 months.

The summit was initially started to promote democracy and free trade in the Americas, but in recent years both topics have become testy subjects. Instead the summit has become a stage for awkward encounters between leftist leaders and their northern counterparts.

Protesters led by soccer legend Diego Maradona burned an effigy of President George W. Bush to protest the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq at the 2005 summit in Argentina. Four years later, the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez famously gave then President Barack Obama a copy of a classic leftist book, "The Open Veins of Latin America," detailing the history of U.S. military interventions in the region.

US VP discusses NAFTA with leaders of Mexico and Canada

  US VP discusses NAFTA with leaders of Mexico and Canada US Vice President Mike Pence held brief bilateral talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Saturday about the state of play in their NAFTA renegotiations, saying he was "encouraged" by recent progress towards a deal. The discussions on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Peru came as US officials said they believed they were narrowing differences over a revised North American Free Trade Agreement, 24 years after its inception.

President Trump ’ s decision to skip the eighth Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, has forced a reckoning on the future of this crucial regional gathering. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was disinvited because of his violations of democracy, while Cuban President Raúl Castro will attend less

Skip to content Skip to site index. WASHINGTON — The White House confirmed last week that President Trump would attend the Summit of the Americas next month in Peru. Still, the Trump administration needs to understand that America ’ s credibility in Latin America is extraordinarily low.

Another key summit moment came in 2015 when Obama and Castro shook hands while in Panama City four months after the U.S. announced it would renew diplomatic relations with the communist island.

Things have changed dramatically since that handshake.

The Trump administration has rolled back many of Obama's overtures to open travel and commerce with the island and withdrawn most of its diplomats in Cuba over mysterious "sonic attacks" in Havana. Many feared that if Trump had showed up at this year's summit, his harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and threats to pull out of regional trade deals would have generated tense encounters.

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to use the trip to promote trade and urge regional partners to further isolate Venezuela's government. The region has been grappling with how to respond to Maduro's increasingly autocratic rule, along with a crippling economic crisis and an exploding tide of migration.

Maduro was barred from this year's meeting over his plans to hold a presidential election that most of the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments are decrying as a sham. The Venezuelan president said Trump's cancellation was another sign the U.S. still views Latin America as Washington's backyard.

Several of Venezuela's most prominent opposition leaders are gathered in Lima, hoping to help build a forceful region-wide response.

Just before the summit was set to get underway Friday, Trump signaled that he might reopen talks on a Pacific Rim trade deal that he pulled the U.S. out of after taking office.

Without mentioning Trump's policy reversal on the Trans Pacific-Partnership, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrated that several countries in the hemisphere including host Peru — one of the most-open economies in Latin America — have embraced his government's vision of beneficial free trade agreements.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto also urged the Trump administration to join the accord.

"There's a door open for the U.S. to rethink and eventually reconsider its position," he told a group of business leaders.

Miguel Díaz-Canel becomes Cuba's president, Raúl Castro steps down .
Cuba has a new president, and for the first time in over 40 years, his last name is not Castro. Miguel Díaz-Canel officially became president on Thursday morning after Raúl Castro, 86, officially stepped down and Díaz-Canel was confirmed by the National Assembly. The 86-year-old Castro will remain head of the Communist Party, the most powerful governing body on the island. But his departure from the presidency represents a symbolic shift in a leadership of octogenarians. Díaz-Canel, who has served as Cuba's first vice president since 2013, turns 58 on Friday.

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