OAS chief stresses on Cuba’s integration with organisation

Newly-elected secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro has prioritised Cuba’s full integration back into the organisation, Spanish news agency Efe reported on Wednbesday.

“OAS must end the cold war with Cuba’s re-incorporation. This will require an effort from the organisation and also from Cuba,” the former Uruguayan foreign minister told reporters on Tuesday after his appointment.

Almagro specifically addressed the matter in his acceptance speech, highlighting the “turning point” marked by Havana’s participation for the first time in this year’s Summit of the Americas in Panama.

“Cuba’s presence, combined with renewed bilateral relations with the United States… is beneficial for the entire hemisphere,” he told the OAS Permanent Council at its headquarters in Washington.

“We will work to fully integrate Cuba to the OAS, obviously taking into account the need to respect times and processes,” he added.

So far, Cuba has not shown any interest in rejoining the OAS, of which it was a founding member in 1948.

In 1962, Cuba’s membership was suspended after the Fidel Castro-led revolution took control of the country, as its adherence to Marxism-Leninism, Communism and the Soviet bloc put it at odds with the US-led capitalist bloc that controlled the OAS.

That suspension was lifted in 2009.

Almagro, who forged good relations with Raul Castro’s government during his time as Uruguayan foreign minister (2010-2015), is well positioned to negotiate with Cuba.

However, Cuba is not expected to take up an active membership in the OAS any time soon, according to diplomatic sources and experts consulted by Efe.

“It is a process that has its own time-frame; we will try to push for total integration without affecting the interests of the parties involved,” a source from Almagro’s transition team told Efe.

newKerala.com, May 27, 2015


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