“I confirm that I will participate to express our positions with sincerity and respect for the heads of state and government, without exception,” said the Cuban leader in his speech closing the fourth Ordinary Session of the eighth Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power (unicameral parliament) over the weekend.
Castro thanked the invitation of the Panamanian leader Juan Carlos Varela and stressed that Cuba’s participation in that summit is the result of a solid and unanimous consent of Latin America and the Caribbean, a region living in new times and united, in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The Cuban leader highlighted the permanent claim and support of all countries of the area for eliminating those old and hateful sanctions on Cuba, established in 1962 by the American Organization of States (OAS).
The Summits of the Americas originated in 1994 in Miami, launched by the then U.S. President William Clinton and organized by the OAS, a continental body from which Cuba was suspended in 1962, due to U.S.pressures against the young revolution headed then by Fidel Castro.
The OAS serves as technical secretariat of the Summits of the Americas, although the preparation of the event is done always by the host country.
The OAS annulled the suspension in 2009; but Havana has not negotiated its return to the Pan American mechanism.
In 2012, Cuba said it would attend the Summits of the Americas if being invited, but had no any intention to return to the OAS.
“We reiterate that Cuba will not return to the OAS, and it is not interested in having any relationship with that organization which has served for purposes of domination, occupation and aggression,” said then Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had said that if being invited, Cuba would attend the meeting “from its positions of truthfulness and respect, and its traditional foreign policy principles.”
This will be the first time when the socialist island participates in the summit, which is held months after Havana and Washington are taking the first steps to restore their diplomatic relations broken since January 1961.
The Sixth Summit of the Americas was held in April 2012 in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, concluding with the regional demand of ending the U.S. economic blockade imposed on the island in 1962, and claim for finishing the Cuban exclusion from these continental meetings. — NNN-AGENCIES