MIAMI – Cuba warned on Monday that the United States intends to exclude it from the Summit of the Americas and negotiates in an “opaque” way on key issues for the region such as health, migration and human rights.
This comes as several hundred Cubans on the island nation remain behind bars following the historic July 11 protests last year.
Enrique Mustelier is sentenced to almost five years in prison.
His sister, Katiuska Mustelier is demanding his release, adding her brother was peacefully protesting in Guantanamo.
Earlier this year, the Cuban government admitted that close to 800 Cubans had been charged and nearly all of those charged would face trials.
Because of this and other human rights violations, the Center for a Free Cuba has started a petition calling for the expulsion of the Cuban government from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“If they get rid of Cuba and some of these other gross systematic human rights violators, as is required under the existing rules, it would stop being a dysfunctional body,” said John Suarez, Center for Free Cuba Executive Director.
On Monday at a press conference, Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, alleged the United States is trying to exclude Cuba from the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
Cuba participated in the last two summits, including the 2015 summit in Panama, where the historic Obama-Castro meeting took place.
The summit, which takes place every four yearS, brings together the heads of state in the western hemisphere.
Last week, the U.S. and Cuba held migratory talks for the first time since 2018. While there were no major breakthroughs, Carlos Fernández de Cossio, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, said there is a real danger there could be an out of control exodus from Cuba by sea.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped Cubans more than 79,800 times from October through March — more than double all of 2021 and five times more than all of 2020.