As preparations for the 6th Summit of the Americas go full speed, Cuba says that, if invited, it will participate, but will not return to the Organization of American States (OAS). The United States opposes the inclusion of Cuba, because of the “lack of democracy in the country,” but ALBA countries say that they will not attend if Cuba is not invited.
Meanwhile, in Paraguay, Secretary of Legal Affairs of the OAS Jean Michel Arrighi has stated that Colombia, the host country of the Summit of the Americas—which will take place on April 14 and 15 in Cartagena de Indias, really has the final word about inviting Cuba. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa suggested that if Cuba was not invited, the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), would not attend; however, the individual countries decided to not adopt the motion.
Cuba has commented that its exclusion from the summit is “unfounded and unjust.” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez explained that if they were to be invited, they would attend the summit with respect because of their position of adherence to truth and traditional foreign policy principles. Nevertheless, he reiterated that his country will not return to be part of the OAS and is not interested in a relationship with an organization that has served the United States for “purposes of domination, occupation and aggression; as a political platform for the economic annexation of Latin America and the Caribbean [. . .].”
The political council of ALBA is composed of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Guest countries are Suriname, Saint Lucia and Dominica.
For full articles (in Spanish), see http://noticias.aollatino.com/2012/02/15/cuba-cumbre-de-las-americas/ and http://news.caribseek.com/index.php/caribbean/cuba-news/item/3464-colombia-debe-decidir-sobre-cuba
[Photo of Cuban flag: AFP/Getty Images]