Saturday, September 27, 2014

Amerícas Summit: US Opposes Cuba's Invitation by Panamá

According to The Latin American Tribune, the United States reaffirmed on Friday (September 26) its opposition to Cuba’s participation in the Amerícas Summit, on grounds that only “democratic” countries should attend, but did not specify whether it would skip the regional conference if Panamá goes forward with its intention to invite the Havana government.

US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, made Washington’s position known the day after Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said at the United Nations that he is making an effort to have all the region’s heads of state attend the 2015 Amerícas Summit to be held in his country.

Panamá is the host country of the summit, Jacobson said at a press conference in New York City, and as such it will decide who to invite.

She did not specify whether the United States would refuse to attend in case Cuba is there, because that is still a hypothetical situation.

COMMENT: Yet, Jacobson said Americans believe that the summit process is a commitment to democratic government, and that governments sitting at the table must be committed to the principles of the Summit, which include democratic governance.

That is her country’s position now, she said, and at present the US does not believe Cuba complies with those principles.

The solid opposition of the United States and Canada kept Cuba from attending the 2012 Amerícas Summit, given that Colombia, the host country, decided that the Cuba could only be invited if there were a consensus that it should.

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