QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa will boycott this month's Summit of the Americas in Colombia because Cuba is not invited, he told the host in a letter Monday.
The announcement by the leftist president makes him the first of 34 invited presidents to decline to attend the April 14-15 summit of the continent's leaders in Cartagena, Colombia.
U.S. President Barack Obama is among hemispheric leaders slated to attend the summit.
Correa had proposed last month that presidents of the leftist Bolivarian Alliance, which also includes Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, boycott the summit. But the presidents of all three nations have confirmed their attendance.
In his letter to President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Correa called the U.S. veto of Cuban participation "intolerable" and said its exclusion was not the result of consensus.
"It is unacceptable in these summits fundamental topics are avoided such as the inhuman blockade of Cuba and the aberrant colonization of the Malvinas Islands," he wrote, backing Argentina's claim to the disputed Falkland Islands.