Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cuba to OAS: Thanks, but no thanks

On Wednesday afternoon, the Organization of American States (OAS) opened the door for Cuba to return to the body nearly five decades after the country was kicked out. Today the Cuban government gave its response to the invite:
Cuba will not rejoin the Organization of American States, even though the multinational organization has lifted the 47-year-old suspension of the country's membership, a Cuban official said Thursday.

Ricardo Alarcon, president of the National Assembly, made the announcement to reporters. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro had said earlier this week that Cuba had no interest in rejoining the 35-nation group.
Despite rejecting the chance to be readmitted, Alarcon added that lifting the suspension on Cuba was a “major victory.”

As to be expected, Cuban-American members of Congress were peeved at the OAS move and have threatened to withhold taxpayer funds to the organization. Also in opposition was Human Rights Watch’s José Miguel Vivanco who said on Monday that “instead of lowering the region's bar to accommodate Cuba, the OAS should push Cuba to raise its respect for human rights to meet a higher collective standard.”

Image- AFP
Online Sources- Huffington Post, Miami Herald, CNN, The Latin Americanist, Voice of America

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