Cuba: Organization of American States (Taken Question)

Taken Question
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 27, 2009

Question: Can you explain the change of policy on opening up discussions at the OAS for membership for Cuba?

Answer: There has been no change of policy. As the Secretary stated in her remarks before the Council of the Americas on May 13, the United States looks forward to the day when Cuba can return to the Organization of American States in a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Today at the OAS, the U.S. submitted a resolution that supports the OAS taking steps to initiate a dialogue with Cuba regarding its eventual reintegration into the inter-American system, in a manner consistent with the commitments of all other OAS member states under the OAS Charter, the Democratic Charter, and other instruments.

As the Secretary noted in her remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 20, “any effort to admit Cuba into the OAS is really in Cuba’s hands. They have to be willing to take the concrete steps necessary to meet those principles. We’ve been very clear about that – move toward democracy, release political prisoners, respect fundamental freedoms. That is what it means to be a member of the OAS.”

PRN: 2009/513