Latin America Unanimously Backs Historic Turn in U.S.-Cuban Relations

Latin America Unanimously Backs Historic Turn in U.S.-Cuban Relations
Fecha de publicación: 
18 December 2014
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Wednesday’s simultaneous announcement by Obama from Washington and Castro from Havana was described as historic by governments and organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The “great news,” as it was described by many, surprised everyone, even though the facilitation of the agreement involved third parties, primarily Pope Francis and Canada, where several secret meetings were held.

According to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza both parties showed great maturity.

Insulza called on the U.S. Congress, which will have a Republican majority in the next legislature, to “adopt the necessary legislative measures to lift the embargo against Cuba, which is still in force.”

The Secretary-General of the Union of South American Nations, Ernesto Samper, said, “It is time to think of a relaunch of hemispheric relations with the United States.”

In general, Latin American governments mostly blamed the United States for the lack of normal relations with Cuba, broken since 1961, and considered its policy of embargo and isolation of the country as wrong or ineffective.

“We must recognize the courageous gesture of President Barack Obama,” who has taken “perhaps the most important step of his presidency,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a close ally of Cuba.

“It’s an historic correction,” he further added.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his complete willingness to support Cuba and United States in the normalization of their relationship.

In his comments, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said, “The ice is broken. It is a positive step,” while the leftist Colombian rebel group welcomed the move, especially the release and return of three Cuban intelligence officers imprisoned in the United States.

“We hope that this release involves the beginning of a new era in relations between the United States and the sovereign peoples of the American continent, where respect for national sovereignty will prevail and no one will be punished for asserting the right to self-determination, or for fighting against injustice,” they said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the organization is ready to support the two countries in everything needed to improve future decisions in this regard and allow a rapprochement between two peoples who have been separated for a long time.

Cuba has already confirmed its participation at the Summit of the Americas, although it did not specify who will represent it, and Obama announced Wednesday that he will be present on April 10-11 in Panama together with his counterparts from the rest of the region.

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