HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) issued a statement on Friday insisting that the return to Cuba of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay “should be an important element” in the dialogue opened between Washington and Havana.
The statement issued in Quito by the body, whose rotating presidency is currently headed by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, suggests that “the return to the Republic of Cuba of the territory occupied by the Naval Base of the United States in Guantanamo should be an important element in this process, through bilateral dialogue and in compliance with international law.”
The statement reaffirms the proclamation of the Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, agreed by the body at its second summit in Havana on January 29, 2014. It recalls that the US naval base has remained in Guantanamo, Cuban terrority, for over a century.
During July and August the US and Cuba completed a new phase of diplomatic relations by opening their respective embassies in and Washington and Havana.
Guantanamo is not one of the starting points of rapprochement, but the end of the trade embargo is top on the list. President Barack Obama himself requested that the US Congress end the over half century sanctions on Cuba.