Ros-Lehtinen: Don't invite Cuba to Summit of the Americas

Author: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. Representative Florida District 18
Published On: Feb 22 2012 10:10:40 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 22 2012 10:28:30 AM EST
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Voices
WASHINGTON -

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Organization of American States (OAS) not to invite Cuba to participate in the upcoming “Summit of the Americas” conference, scheduled from April 14 – 15, 2012 in Cartagena, Colombia, and said that the United States should not attend the Summit if Cuba participates.  Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: 

"The campaign for Cuba’s inclusion in the Summit of the Americas is being led by regional tyrants who want to shift the Summit’s focus away from their human rights abuses and repression of democracy, and turn it into a platform to bash the U.S.  Chavez, Morales, Ortega, and Correa know that having the Castro regime in their lineup will help them turn the Summit into an anti-American hate fest.

"Cuba has no right to participate in this Summit because it is not a member of the OAS and does not meet the basic criteria to become one.  Pressure is being applied by ALBA countries to invite the Castro dictatorship to the Summit anyway and, were this effort to be successful, President Obama must boycott the Summit, as Cuba’s inclusion would directly violate the OAS Charter. 

"Responsible nations in our Hemisphere must stand together on the side of democracy and not allow these tyrants to hijack the Summit for their own ends, which are contrary to the values of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.  Allowing the Cuban tyranny to participate would fly in the face of everything the Charter and the OAS is supposed to stand for."