The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today welcomed the “historic announcement” made by the Presidents of Cuba and the United States, Raúl Castro and Barack Obama, of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as the re-opening of embassies in Washington and Havana, the lifting of certain commercial restrictions and the beginning of new paths for cooperation on issues of mutual interest, among other measures.
The OAS leader congratulated President Barack Obama “for having taken these historic steps, as necessary as they are courageous, to restore diplomatic relations broken off in 1961.” “This is a decision of great vision on both sides, because this conflict, which has significant negative implications for citizens of both countries, had stagnated politically for too long,” said the Secretary General.
The leader of the multilateral Organization said, “the measures announced today open a path to normalization from which there is no return, and asked the United States Congress to take the necessary legislative measures to lift the embargo against Cuba, which remains in force. President Obama has been clear about the need to change a policy that produced neither benefits nor results for 50 years, and only complicated the lives of millions of citizens. We hope that Congress understands this as well.
Secretary General Insulza recalled the decision of the OAS, adopted unanimously by all member states, to rescind the suspension of Cuba as an active member of the Organization, adopted at the General Assembly in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 2009, and described the resolution as an early step to bring the Caribbean nation closer to the community of countries that make up the OAS. Likewise, he expressed his hope that the expectations for the success of the forthcoming Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama are fully met.
The head of the OAS expressed his happiness at the release of Alan Gross, as well as Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, saying that their imprisonment was the product of a past that should not return.
Secretary General Insulza also praised the role of the international community in facilitating talks between Washington and Havana and urged both governments to continue to rely on their neighbors and friends to continue reaching agreements leading to full normalization of contacts between two key countries of these, our Americas.”