Guatemalan president says he won’t attend US summit after political tensions

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Tuesday he would not attend next month’s Summit of the Americas, a day after the United States criticized the Central American country for appointing its attorney general for another term. “They’re not going to invite me to the summit anyway, but I sent (the message) that I won’t go,” Giamattei said at an event hosted by the Mexican Embassy south of the Guatemala City.

The Guatemalan president did not give a reason, but his decision adds to a growing list of Latin American leaders who have questioned their attendance at the summit to be hosted by the United States in Los Angeles. Giammattei, speaking after Guatemala announced it had reappointed Maria Consuelo Porras as attorney general, said he told the US ambassador to Guatemala that as long as he was president, his country had to be respected.

The US State Department said on Monday it deemed Porras ineligible to enter the country, citing his “involvement in significant corruption.” Guatemala’s attorney general’s office responded by describing itself as an autonomous institution that would not accept any interference. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said last week that he would not go unless Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were invited. Soon after, his Bolivian counterpart, Luis Arce, followed suit.

In April, US Under Secretary of State Brian Nichols said Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela were unlikely to be invited to the summit since it would focus on democratic governments in the Western Hemisphere. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is also likely to skip the meeting, sources told Reuters, without specifying his motive.

Giammattei said Mexico’s Lopez Obrador supported Guatemala’s decision to keep Porras in his job. The Mexican Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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