Cartagena summit should not reject ‘democracy clause’

When I asked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos about the ongoing US-Latin American spat over Cuba’s absence in the 33-country Summit of the Americas that he will host in Cartagena this weekend, he gave an answer that many civil rights advocates find troublesome.

Referring to Cuba’s absence because of a US-backed rule stating that only democracies can attend inter-American summits — an issue that is likely to figure prominently during the discussions — Santos suggested that Washington and Latin American countries should re-evaluate their definitions of concepts such as freedom of the press, elections and democracy.

Under a clause of the Summit of the Americas Declaration of Quebec on April 22, 2001, which was adopted by consensus and is being invoked by the Obama administration today to oppose Cuba’s attendance, participating countries agreed that …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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