Dominica has cleared the air on an upcoming summit of the Organisation of American States, (OAS) confirming that the island will be represented at the summit.
One Columbian newspaper is reporting that the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance) member countries have threatened to boycott this April’s OAS Summit if Cuba is not invited to the conference.
Dominica’s ambassador to Venezuela, Dr Philbert Aaron, told DNO on Wednesday that “Dominica will attend the summit of the Americas”.
“ALBA countries will attend and use the Summit of the Americas, use the opportunity there again to call for an end to all attempts to isolate Cuba, and especially the (US) financial and trade blockade against Cuba,” Dr Aaron said.
Reports in Columbia, the venue for the coming summit, have suggested that the ALBA countries are threatening to boycott the summit if Havana is kept out.
Dr Aaron told DNO that no such decision was taken by ALBA’s recent Political Council meeting.
The declaration, a copy of which has been made available to Dominica News Online, says it supports “the full participation of the sister Republic of Cuba at that Summit, a right that cannot be infringed upon or submitted to conditions that violate its sovereignty”.
Another part of the declaration wants ALBA members to “unequivocally demand, during the Sixth Summit of the Americas, the cessation of this (US) policy and the lifting of the blockade against Cuba, in the face of the persistent opposition of the Government of the United States to accept the presence of Cuba in this forum”.
The US is insisting that Cuba should not be included because is it not a democracy.
Only Organization of American States (OAS) members are invited and Cuba was suspended from the organization in 1962 because of its socialist political system.
However in 2009 the suspension was revoked on the basis that Cuba comply with democratic principles before being readmitted.
It is reported that Cuba said it is willing to attend the summit but will not rejoin the OAS.
On Monday a high ranking OAS official said that Columbia, along with other invited countries, is expected to decide whether Cuba will attend the Sixth Summit of the Americas.
US President Barack Obama is among leaders from 34 countries expected to attend the summit that will be discussing regional issues.
The press in Columbia is reporting that the alleged planned boycott has threatened to spoil the event for the Columbian president who has been trying to improve the country’s image after years of civil war and violence.
Columbian newspaper “Columbia Reports” quoted President of the Inter-American Dialogue Michael Shifter as saying that the president of Columbia is not going to let the boycott happen.
“It’s his party and he wants to be a regional leader. It’s hard to do that if you have a divided summit, or a boycott,” Shifter was quoted as saying.
ALBA’s political council is made up of Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Dr Aaron told DNO that he was at the council meeting in Havana that addressed the Cuba/OAS matter.
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