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QUESTION:  We appreciate, Secretary, this interview.


QUESTION:  (Via interpreter) My name is Alejandro.  Thank you for being on SinEmbargo.


QUESTION:  (Via interpreter) So the president of Mexico did not come to this summit, but that will be solved with a future meeting in July at the White House.


QUESTION:  And – but the thing is, what about – (in Spanish) – the OAS —

(Via interpreter) What about the OAS?  There’s been pressure for so many countries about the utility of the OAS.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  So two things.  First of all, President Biden is very much looking forward to seeing President López Obrador at the White House in July.  They have a very good relationship, great mutual respect, and as do I with my friend and counterpart Marcelo Ebrard.  We talk all the time.  And in this case, we had a good-faith difference of opinion.  That’s – and that’s fine.  I’m very happy that Marcelo is here leading the Mexican delegation, and Mexican civil society and so many others, business leaders, all here at the summit.  So Mexico is very strongly represented, and that’s good.

When it comes to the OAS, listen, this is an organization that we – the United States supports, and its mission, among other things, is to try to uphold the principles that are enshrined in the Democratic Charter of our hemisphere, a charter that really was launched at a Summit of the Americas in 2001, and should be a common document for all of us to be held accountable to.  And the OAS works to do that.  Sometimes that creates some friction, but it’s important that we be held accountable to our democratic principles.

QUESTION:  (Via interpreter) So why did the U.S. decide not to invite certain countries to this summit, even though the president of Mexico asked for that, and when this is a summit that’s intended – intention is to work on structural problems like inequity and poverty in the Americas?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yeah.  Well, first I would say that a number of those countries are here.  They are at the summit.  I met yesterday with Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, all of whom are representing their country, from civil society, from the human rights community, from the artistic community.  They are as representative – I would argue more representative – of their countries than their governments at this point in time.  So they’re here; those countries are all here at the summit.

And of course, in a different way, as I said, Mexico is fully here with a very strong delegation led by my friend and counterpart, the Foreign Minister Ebrard.  As I said, we had a very respectful difference of opinion on this.  Usually the host country makes the decisions, and we felt it was important at this time to reinforce the Democratic Charter of our hemisphere, and to remind people that we’re supposed to be joined by these democratic principles, and the countries here should reflect that.

But again, all of these countries actually are here.  It may not be in some cases their governments or regimes, which really do not have popular legitimacy.

QUESTION:  (Via interpreter) Thank you very much for being here, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Gracias.  Thank you so much.  Gracias.  Nice to meet with you.

U.S. Department of State

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