Says Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez
HAVANA TIMES — Cuba will not return to the Organization of American States (OAS) despite the forthcoming visit of its secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, to the island, announced Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Friday.
“Cuba’s position in relation to the OAS remains unchanged, we will not return to it,” he said at a press conference during the official opening of the facility where the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will take place next week.
The Cuban Foreign Minister said “the OAS has a negative historical baggage as an instrument of domination of the United States that can’t be changed by any reform,” reported dpa news.
The Cuban government justified the invitation to Insulza to the CELAC Summit as a diplomatic courtesy from the “Troika” of the Latin American organization, as took place at the last summit in Santiago de Chile.
The visit of the Secretary General is the first official contact between Havana and the OAS in fifty years. The Caribbean nation was suspended from the Pan American organization in 1962. Although the ban was lifted in 2009, the Cuban government has declined to participate.
Insulza visited Havana in 1996 when he was Chilean foreign minister and his trip was aimed at normalizing relations between Cuba and Chile, broken in 1973 after the military coup of Augusto Pinochet.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez stressed that the CELAC “expresses the common aspirations of the region and is a partner recognized by other international organizations,” without the presence of the US and Canada.
During the second summit of CELAC, the Cuban delegation will propose as one of the key items of discussions between presidents, the issue of economic inequality and “the need to ensure education and health care for all,” said Rodriguez.
Although not part of the official agenda, the Cuban foreign minister announced that several Latin American presidents will participate in the opening of the container terminal at the port of Mariel, which is being built west of the capital with financing from Brazil.
The port work is part of the economic reforms introduced by President Raul Castro, with the aim of becoming a center of attraction for foreign investment.