HAVANA — Cuba criticized the United States Tuesday for “aggressive” Cold War-style moves to block it from attending the Summit of the Americas which meets in Colombia this week.
The US government vetoed proposals to include Cuba, the Americas’ only Communist country, among invited leaders to the summit in Cartagena, Colombia.
“The veto, once again, by US authorities clearly demonstrates that Washington has no real desire to get closer to its southern neighbors, nor to change its aggressive policy against our country,” an editorial in the official Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma said.
Washington’s refusal to allow Cuban participation “evokes the classic language of the Cold War to demonstrate that the (purported) policy of the (Barack) Obama administration on change in policy toward Cuba does not go beyond rhetoric,” the editorial stressed.
At the previous Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009, Obama said he was willing to seek “a new beginning with Cuba” that would include improved relations.
But the dialogue starts with a non-starter. The United States wants Cuba to allow a multiparty political system, which Havana flatly rules out.
The Granma editorial Tuesday said, “Nothing has changed about the essence of the hostile policy of the United States toward our country.”
The newspaper rejected the argument that Cuba’s exclusion from the summit is due to its non-membership in the Organization of American States (OAS), from which Cuba was expelled in 1962.
The Summit of the Americas is a regular meeting sponsored by the Organization of American States.
“Let it be clear that, even considering its administrative structure, this kind of summit has nothing to do with the institutional framework of the OAS,” Granma said.
“There is therefore no basis for establishing a direct relationship between the historical position of Cuba with regard to the OAS and its full participation in the Cartagena summit,” the daily newspaper said.
“Cuba has no interest in a relationship with this organization that has served as a platform for the United States to attack and pillage in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Granma said.
“The US government should understand that, as stated by Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, our region does not live in times of change, but in a new era,” Granma said.
The United States has had a full economic embargo locked on Havana since 1961. The United States also gives immediate residency to any Cuban who reaches US soil, something it does not do for natives of any other communist country.