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US newspapers slam White House opposition to Cuba's participation at OAS summit
Published on April 19, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- Influential US dailies such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times criticized the White House’s opposition to Cuba’s participation in the Summit of the Americas, held over the weekend in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

In an article entitled ‘Obama concludes Summit of the Americas on the defensive about inviting Cuba,’ the Washington Post recalled that the summit ended without an official declaration “and left open the question of whether there would be a seventh such meeting.”

“The ambiguous conclusion underscored the fact that Obama, while pledging a new relationship with the United States’ leery southern neighbors, has had little success in bridging significant policy differences that have divided the region for decades,” the article noted.

In the meantime, the New York Times recognized that “by refusing to sign a statement that would have called for the next summit meeting to include Cuba, Mr Obama avoided antagonizing some Cuban-American voters in Florida, a crucial battleground state in this year’s presidential election.”

For its part, in an article entitled ‘Time to include Cuba,’ the Los Angeles Times reported that “the policy of banning Cuba from the gathering of the hemisphere’s leaders for nearly 18 years is backfiring.”

“The Obama administration has denied that its goal in excluding Cuba is to keep Cuban American voters in Florida happy during a presidential election year. Whatever the reason, the position is not playing well with leaders in the region, who see embargoes and political isolation as anachronistic policies from the Cold War era,” the article added, before recommending that “the United States should abandon its push to keep Cuba from attending the Americas Summit.”
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