President Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic created an unexpected situation for his US counterpart Joe Biden this week, when he jokingly invited the American leader to a Caribbean resort known for its beautiful beaches. During a photo op at the White House on Thursday, Abinader expressed his excitement for the upcoming 2025 Summit of the Americas, emphasizing the importance of strengthening the bonds of security, prosperity, and democracy between the two nations. He then playfully mentioned that the summit would take place in Punta Cana, allowing Biden to enjoy some time on the beach.
Punta Cana, located on the Coconut Coast of the Dominican Republic, is renowned for its luxurious resorts and stretches of sandy beaches with clear blue waters. Abinader’s lighthearted remark, however, inadvertently caused embarrassment for Biden, as some interpreted it as a mocking reference to the President’s well-known fondness for beach vacations.
This incident further fueled speculation about Biden’s leisure activities, particularly related to his time spent at his residential retreat in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. A Republican estimate in May claimed that Biden had spent 40% of his presidency on vacation. This accusation gained attention, especially after Biden’s recent trip to the beach in October, which coincided with the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war. Rapper ’50 Cent’ expressed criticism through a viral social media post, questioning the President’s priorities in light of pressing national and international issues.
The Summit of the Americas, initiated by former US President Bill Clinton in 1994, aims to promote economic growth and prosperity based on shared democratic values throughout the Americas. The most recent summit was held in California in 2022, and the next one is scheduled to take place in Punta Cana in 2025.
In addition to discussing the upcoming summit, President Abinader and President Biden also addressed the security situation in Haiti, which shares an island with the Dominican Republic. The Dominican leader expressed his gratitude for Biden’s support of Ukraine, highlighting the strong diplomatic ties between the two nations. The White House’s readout of their meeting confirmed their constructive dialogue on various regional and global issues.
Overall, while President Abinader’s light-hearted invitation to Punta Cana unintentionally caused some embarrassment for President Biden, it also highlighted the amicable relationship between the Dominican Republic and the United States. The incident presented an opportunity for renewed focus on important diplomatic discussions, including regional security concerns and shared democratic values.