HAVANA TIMES, Mar 15 — Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said today that he will be not attend the Summit of the Americas (April 14-15) in Cartagena, Colombia, in protest of the Obama administration’s pressuring to exclude Cuba.
It is still uncertain if any other presidents will join Correa in his boycott.
“It is outrageous that in the XXI century something that calls itself the Americas Summit does not invite Cuba.” He added: “If it is a summit of the Americas, all countries of America must be invited and attend”.
Tired of the focus of the Americas Summits only being on concerns of the United States, Correa declared, “Personally I’m not willing to participate any more in these summits, in which the problems of the peoples of Latin America are not discussed.”
“In these meetings they make all kinds of declarations about democracy but never talk about true democracy. It’s all a words that are never turned into action.”
“In our region there are very important problems, but these are never debated in these summits. Like the US embargo on Cuba, it’s never debated. Likewise, the British occupation of the Malvina Islands.
“I’m going to be frank; I like the United States because I studied there, but I can’t accept that one country excludes another,” added the Ecuadorian president.
Under pressure from Washington, Colombian President Santos had told Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana on March 7th that he could not invite the Caribbean country to attend.
Castro expressed understanding and did not press for an invitation, saying he didn’t want to cause Colombia or the Summit any problems.
However, the following day Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez blamed the US for its exclusion.
There were some hopes that the new US president would begin a new era of relations with Latin America and the Caribbean at the last Americas Summit held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez even gave Barack Obama a copy of Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano’s classic “The Open Veins of Latin America”, to help him understand the region’s history and concerns.
Three years later that hope for change has clearly yet to materialize.