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Ottawa – Cuba, the 2015 Americas Summit, and Beyond: Obstacles and Opportunities

15 septiembre 2014 No Comment

Panel Photo

On the threshold of the 2015 Presidential Summit in Panama, a group of distinguished scholars, diplomats and practitioners gathered in Ottawa on September 4 to discuss the much-debated participation of Cuba in the upcoming OAS assembly.  Sponsored by the University of Ottawa, American University, the Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Economicas y Sociales and the Latin America Study Group of the Canadian International Council, with funding from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, the discussion analyzed past and present U.S.-Cuba relations in the context of an increasingly multipolar hemisphere and examined ways in which third-party stakeholders like Canada might encourage policy change to benefit long-term inter-American dynamics.  During the discussion, the obstacles raised concerning Cuba’s integration into the OAS included not only U.S. and Canadian objections about the country’s noncompliance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, but also the lack of coordinated political will in both Cuba and Washington to overcome tensions regarding Cuba’s position in the hemisphere.  Alternatively, points in favor of Cuba’s inclusion in the Summit included the recognition that many OAS member states will not participate in a Summit that excludes Cuba and signs that Cuba would accept an invitation to the Summit if it were extended without conditions.

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