May 26, 2022

Lee, Meeks, McGovern Lead Letter to President Biden Expressing Concern About Summit of the Americas Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C.?– Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Barbara Lee (D-CA), together with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Chair of the Rules Committee Jim McGovern (D-MA), today led 12 Members in sending a letter to President Biden to express concern that the omission of the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela at the ninth Summit of the Americas could undermine the U.S.’s standing in the region.

“We write to express our concern that the omission of the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela at the ninth Summit of the Americas to be held next month in Los Angeles could undermine the U.S.’s standing in the region,” the lawmakers wrote. “This year’s Summit – hosted by the United States for the first time since the inaugural Summit in 1994 – comes at a critical time for Latin America and the Caribbean as the region grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the ongoing impacts of climate change.

They continued, “As staunch believers in the important diplomatic role that multilateral summits can play in addressing these common crises, we feel strongly that excluding countries could jeopardize future relations throughout the region and put some of the ambitious policy proposals your administration launched under Build Back Better World at risk. The leaders of Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras and others have threatened not to attend the Summit unless all countries are invited. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) have both called on the U.S. government not to exclude any country at next month’s Summit.

“If we are truly committed to addressing the complex regional challenges we face together as a hemisphere, the Summit must be inclusive in many ways, including we engage as good-faith negotiators with countries who do not share our views. A fractured Summit will therefore negatively impact our bilateral relationships with allies in the region who have maintained good relationships with both the United States and the uninvited countries.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.