Argentina and Brazil Foreign Affairs ministers said in Sao Paulo both countries are committed that the next Summit of the Americas to be held in April in Colombia is the last without the participation of Cuba.
“This has to be the last summit in which Cuba does not participate”, said Argentine minister Hector Timerman, standing next to Brazil’s Antonio Patriota. The presence of Cuba is necessary so that “finally we have a Summit of the Americas”
Patriota recalled that at the previous summit then President Lula da Silva had openly expressed the support and need for Cuba to attend the meeting.
The Brazilian minister said he would be visiting Argentina ‘soon’ and announced more frequent meetings of deputy ministers to continue “intensifying the bilateral cooperation agenda”.
Patriota described the ministerial meeting as eminently ‘political’ during which there was a review of bilateral, regional and global issues.
The first summit of the Americas took place in Miami in 1994 with the attendance of the 34 active members from the Organization of American States from which Cuba was suspended in 1962. The suspension was lifted in 2009, but the Cuban government has not initiated the reincorporation process and has said it has no intentions of doing so.
The US government has openly expressed its refusal to accept Cuba at Cartagena de Indias, where the summit is taking place next April, since Havana does not comply with the 2001 democratic principles of the charter approved that year.
The two ministers also expressed concern about the “possible presence of nuclear weapons in the South Atlantic area”.
Timerman, quoted by a release from the Argentine Foreign Affairs ministry said that South America is a region “free of nuclear weapons” and warned about the United Kingdom’s increasing militarization of the South Atlantic region.
He repeated that the UK government has neither confirmed nor denied the presence of nuclear weapons in the area and reaffirmed that bringing nuclear weapons in the region would be in direct contradiction with the Tlatelolco Treaty, which looks to keep Latin America free of nuclear weapons.
Finally Patriota repeated that Brazil will continue to support Argentina in its sovereignty claim over the Falkland Islands.