Bob Marley famously sang “Africa Unite” but on Friday he was bringing unity to an Americas summit that was marked by disputes.
Taking the podium at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados quoted the late reggae legend as she said, “There is so much trouble in the world.”
Mottley explained that she was not “an apostle of Bob” but shared his message of action.
“He reminds us of the day-to-day reality of our people and of our citizens,” she said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was chairing the session and is known for his love of music, replied with an impromptu medley of Marley lyrics.
“In the words of Bob, no woman, no cry,” Blinken said with a smile.
“Don’t shed no tears. Let’s act. We can sing a redemption song together.”
Marley sang frequently of political unity and is credited by some with helping quell a low-level civil war in his native Jamaica through his 1978 “One Love Peace” concert.
The Summit of the Americas was led by US President Joe Biden who has sought greater economic ties and cooperation on migration.
But he also faced open criticism and a boycott from Mexico’s president over his refusal to invite the leftist leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela on the grounds that they are authoritarian.
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