The Cuban government has expressed its interest in attending the coming Summit of the Americas scheduled for next April in Cartagena, revealed Colombian Foreign Affairs minister Maria Angela Holguin following a visit to Havana.
“I met with Foreign Affairs minister Bruno Rodriguez and President Raul Castro and they told me they were interested in attending the Summit of the American”, said Holguin who pointed out that the decision does not belong only to the host but is “a consensus decision among the member countries involved in the summits’ process”.
But Holguin promised that Colombia “would lead the diplomatic initiative towards that objective”.
Last week at the meeting of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas) leaders, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa proposed that the group should not attend the VI Summit of the Americas, 14/15 April, if Cuba is not invited.
ALBA is made up of Venezuela (paymaster), Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The administration of President Barack Obama who is scheduled to visit Colombia has pointed out its position contrary to a discussion on the presence of Cuba at the summit.
The first Summit of the Americas took place in Miami in 1994 with the attendance of all leaders from Organization of American States country members.
Holguin said that it is in the hands of Cuba whether it decides or not to return to the OAS, since in 2009 the five decade suspension of Havana was lifted. However so far Cuba has not requested to open a dialogue for the possible return to OAS, recalled earlier in the week Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza.
Holguin pointed out that if the host country, in this case Colombia, invites Cuba, the Cuban delegates will not be able to participate in all debates, “and I doubt Cubans will want to come without being able to participate in all debates”.
Therefore “this issue will be addressed based on an understanding from all countries and we are going to work diplomatically, and with no leaks to the media on how negotiations are evolving”, concluded Holguin.