Video: The Summit of the Americas being hosted by the United States in Los Angeles, California, "was a failure before it started" and "nothing will come out of it of any substance," an expert said. (Xinhua)
--- "It's embarrassing" and "it's a joke."
--- Daniel Kovalik, an American lawyer who teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, said the Summit of the Americas illustrates the United States' shrinking impact on the Western Hemisphere, exposing the fact that "the Emperor has no clothes."
by Xinhua writers Sun Ding, Hu Yousong
WASHINGTON, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The ninth Summit of the Americas being hosted by the United States in Los Angeles, California, "was a failure before it started" and "nothing will come out of it of any substance," an expert said Thursday, noting Washington's exclusion of three countries and a resulting boycott by several others.
Daniel Kovalik, an American lawyer who teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, made the remarks during a virtual interview with Xinhua.
Protestors attend a rally near the Los Angeles Convention Center where the ninth Summit of the Americas is held in Los Angeles, the United States, June 8, 2022. (Photo by Zeng Hui/Xinhua)
The Summit of the Americas is taking place in the absence of several Latin American leaders, including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who boycotted the affair after its ideologically-driven host refused to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the regional gathering.
"It's embarrassing" and "it's a joke," said Kovalik, comparing it to the U.S. throwing a party, but "very few people" show up; he predicted Washington would "go home with nothing."
By unilaterally excluding Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the United States is trying to punish them because they "try to have their own foreign policy," seek to "go their own way economically" and want to use "their own resources for their own people's needs instead of allowing them to just be exploited by U.S. companies," said Kovalik.
The United States is still trying to "dominate those countries" and "isolate them," according to the expert. "The U.S. talks about freedom and independence, yet it doesn't honor those things for other people," he continued. "The U.S. has never accepted other countries' independence and still doesn't."
Photo taken on Nov. 23, 2021 shows the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)
"For Mexico, not to come is huge, obviously -- Mexico borders the United States; it's a huge trading partner with the United States; it's a very important country in the hemisphere," he said. "For Mexico, to have an empty seat at the summit just says volumes."
Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City on Monday that "there cannot be a Summit of the Americas if all countries of the Americas cannot attend" and slammed what he called "the old interventionist policies" that lack respect for other countries and their peoples.
Kovalik said the United States "doesn't treat any country as an equal, not even its allies," referring to America's pressure on Europe to ban oil from Russia -- Europe's main energy supplier -- in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"Look at what they're doing to Europe right now. Forcing them to give up Russian gas and oil is going to destroy their economies. And I'd say the U.S. doesn't care, but it's even worse than that. I think that was actually one of the intended goals of the sanctions," he noted.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reacts during his morning press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, June 6, 2022. (Photo by Francisco Canedo/Xinhua)
Besides Lopez Obrador, the presidents of Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have also skipped the summit, which will run through Friday. Richard Haass, president of the U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted on Tuesday that he thinks the conference "looks to be a debacle," with the United States having "no trade proposal, no immigration policy, & no infrastructure package."
For Kovalik, the summit illustrates the hegemonic power's shrinking impact on the Western Hemisphere, exposing the fact that "the Emperor has no clothes."
"The truth is the U.S. influence has been declining for a long time. The only way it's maintained its influence is by sheer brute force. That's true now pretty much throughout the world," the expert expounded. "All it has is brute force, and that's not working because you can't control everyone all at once. I think the U.S. will continue to find its influence waning in Latin America."
"The irony is the U.S. is isolating itself. That's what it comes down to. The countries in the world are saying: Look, we are sick of this. We are sick of you telling us who we can talk to, who we can be friends with, and what kind of economy we can have," he said.
"I don't think the U.S. has learned its lesson yet, but I think it's going to learn its lesson very soon that it just can't go around bullying everyone and succeeding," said Kovalik. ■