Cuba will participate in the Seventh Summit of the Americas to be held in April 2015, in Panama.
Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister, announced to the press during a visit to Miami that Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador have already confirmed their presence at the summit.
Sait Malo said that “even in the heterogeneity of the region, the issues that unite us are the most and we are going to be focused on them. To do this, the entire American continent must be present. “
A few days earlier, the Secretary of State John Kerry said that issues to discuss between presidents are more important than thinking about who will attend the Summit. The State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, also assured that indeed the great event can have “credibility” even with the assistance of Cuba .
In 2012 the Cuban government did not attend the sixth edition of the Summit, as the United States and Canada were radically opposed, while the host country, Colombia, considered unanimity as a prerequisite to invite the island.
This is the first time an invitation is extended to Cuba to participate in the high-level forum, conceived by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1994 and could also be the first time in which the presidents of the United States and Cuba to coincide on the same regional event for debates.
Havana was excluded in 1962 from OAS due to its system of government, while in 2009 the sanctions were lifted in an assembly in Honduras, but Cuba did not make emphasize in returning .
The mechanisms of integration and cooperation on the continent offer a new space for debate and different assumptions for the US and Canada in their relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, while Latin American countries are pushing to include Cuba in decisions making about cooperation at regional level.