Mexico is expected to host the regional body’s fourth summit, and 16 leaders have confirmed their attendance, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday.
CELAC will discuss the region’s response to the pandemic as well as the creation of a fund to respond to disasters linked to climate change.
– Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (@PPT_CELAC) September 15, 2021
The Latin American left made its biggest strides with the first “pink tide” of socialist leaders in the early 2000s.
Alongside Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the new wave of left-wing Latin leaders expected to feature among CELAC heads of state include Peru’s Pedro Castillo, Bolivian Luis Arce and Argentinian Alberto Fernandez.
Mexico, as president pro tempore of CELAC, is also expected to push for a unified proposal to replace or reform the Organization of American States (OAS). Some CELAC members see the OAS as an “interventionist” instrument of the United States and a new body is needed to represent countries in the region.
Lopez Obrador has previously said that the OAS should be replaced by “a truly autonomous body, which is nobody’s lackey”.
Ahead of the summit, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel attended a lavish military parade on Thursday to mark the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence.
Diaz-Canel’s trip to Mexico is the Cuban leader’s first overseas visit since large protests swept across the island in July, shaking the Communist government as it struggles to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and shortages food, fuel and medicine.
Mexico threw a lifeline in Havana during the protests by sending ships loaded with fuel, food and oxygen tanks.
Diaz-Canel, who was one of the guests of honor at an Independence Day military parade in Mexico City, said the aid came at a vital time as Cuba suffered “the ravages of a multidimensional war, ”referring to the crippling US blockade of the island.
“Under the fire of this all-out war, Mexico’s solidarity with Cuba has awakened in our people greater admiration and deepest gratitude,” he said in a speech after the parade.
Diaz-Canel thanked Mexico for its support.
Some felt that the Cuban leader’s presentation on Independence Day was inappropriate.
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon wrote on his Twitter that “it is unacceptable to give such an important place to the celebration of the bicentenary of the country’s independence to a dictator who has imprisoned dozens of Cubans”.
However, Lopez Obrador has also made it a priority to maintain good relations with the United States. Amid growing concern from President Joe Biden’s administration over influxes of migrants to the US-Mexico border, Mexico has continued to block migrant caravans and receive those who are returned.
On Thursday, Biden issued a statement congratulating Mexico on the anniversary, noting that “Mexico is one of our most valuable partners. Together, we are able to promote our many mutual interests and cooperate to tackle common challenges. ”