Cuban Foreign Minister: Cuba’s Exclusion from the Summit of the Americas Would be a Step Backwards

By Claudia Fonseca Sosa on April 25, 2022

photo: Minrex

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla denounced today before the national and foreign press that the U.S. government has decided to exclude Cuba from the preparations for the upcoming Summit of the Americas, to be held in Los Angeles from June 8 to 10.

The foreign minister stressed that Washington is misleading public opinion about the invitations to that regional event and urged U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to say whether Cuba will be invited or excluded from the Summit, and whether other countries will be excluded.

According to Rodríguez Parrilla, the U.S. is also exerting “extreme pressure” on numerous countries in the geographic area that oppose such exclusion.

The minister added that the U.S. is currently promoting a plan of action on health and resilience of the Americas until 2030, “which it is negotiating in an opaque manner”, and regretted that Cuba has not been included in its negotiation, given its experience and international recognition in health issues.

He maintained that “the U.S. sends soldiers instead of doctors” and ignores the health needs of Latin America and the Caribbean, while it has used the pandemic for its political interests.

“The pandemic has been a tactical ally of the U.S. against Cuba,” he said, referring to the measures to tighten the blockade and the sanctions imposed during the last two years against the island.

“The blockade is a massive, systematic and flagrant violation of the rights of Cubans, of families in the U.S. and also of Americans,” the minister said.

He also added that the blockade suffocates the Cuban economy, and is a policy different from the one it maintains with any other country, it is selective and discriminatory.

He denounced that this has been a policy that has been accompanied, “in a shameless manner”, by a campaign against Cuban medical cooperation, through pressure on other governments.

Rodríguez also rejected the negotiation of another document on migration behind the back of international public opinion, which intends to force Latin American states to repress migration and absorb migrants rejected by the U.S., with a racist and xenophobic vision.

During his speech, the Chancellor affirmed that “the U.S. has no morals whatsoever to speak of human rights”.

He went on to say that “In that country, the rights of minorities are violated, Afro-descendants are discriminated against, and there is labor exploitation in private prisons. The U.S. promotes wars and maintains secret prisons in the world”.

“Cuba supports genuine efforts to promote dialogue, ties and cooperation among the countries of the continent, among the members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the US,” the foreign minister said.

“The US should understand that the region of Latin America and the Caribbean has changed forever”, he added, commenting that there is no longer any place for the precepts of Pan-Americanism and the Monroe Doctrine.

According to the minister, “the host country of the Summit of the Americas has no right to impose arbitrary exclusions.”

“This is a politically motivated decision with no support other than false accusations and double standards to hide its true nature, linked to U.S. domestic and electoral politics,” he said.

He affirmed that the exclusion of Cuba from the next Summit of the Americas would constitute a serious historical setback in relation to previous summits.

It would be surprising if President Joe Biden departs from the policy of his two predecessors (Barack Obama and Donald Trump), he commented, recalling Cuba’s participation in the summits of Panama in 2015 and Peru in 2018.

The minister expressed that “the U.S. government will be able to show little about democracy in that incomplete Summit”, and asked the State Department if they will allow the hemisphere’s civil society to participate in the event without exclusions.

On the other hand, Rodríguez Parrilla supported Nicaragua’s recent decision to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) and rejected the participation of “illegitimate and spurious representatives” of Latin American countries in the June meeting.

Regarding the recent bilateral migration talks, the Cuban Foreign Minister assured that they were positive because the U.S. recognized the full validity of the migration agreements, and that his government has failed to comply with them and discontinued them. The announcement of the resumption of Washington’s consular services in Havana was also positive.

However, U.S. policy today continues to favor irregular, illegal and unsafe emigration from Cuba.

“What is new is that (the U.S.) has imposed discriminatory transit visas on third countries against Cuban travelers and is forcing them to reduce the number of these,” he said.

In this regard, he asked Washington directly: “When will the obligation to grant no less than 20,000 visas annually to Cubans be fulfilled? How many visas will be given in 2022? Until when will Cubans be forced to travel to Guyana to opt for a visa? What will happen with family reunification?”

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English