State Department: Cuba Does Not Meet Summit of Americas Qualifications

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
As we posted last week, an inter-hemispheric battle of democracy vs. authoritarianism will play out during next year's Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Castro's cohorts will seek to undermine the Inter-American Democratic Charter -- which stemmed from the 2001 Quebec Summit's "democracy clause" -- by including Cuba in this gathering of democracies.

If the U.S. were to acquiesce or participate in such an affront, it would represent the ultimate double-standard -- and re-open the doors to Latin American dictatorships (of the left and right).

Yesterday, the issue was raised at the State Department's press briefing (with Sposkeperson Jen Psaki).

Kudos to the State Department in its response.

QUESTION: Secretary [Kerry] is meeting with Panama’s vice president. Panama recently extended an invitation to Cuba to attend the Americas Summit in 2015, and this is the first such invitation for Cuba in a number of years. Does the State Department have any response?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I understand it, it was an announcement of intention to invite. I would refer you to the Government of Panama for any questions regarding formal invitations.

We – from here, our view is that at the 2001 Summit of the Americas, all participating governments agreed to consensus that “The maintenance and strengthening of the rule of law and strict respect for the democratic system are at the same time a goal and a shared commitment and are an essential condition of our presence at this and future summits.” So we should not undermine commitments previously made, but should instead encourage – and this is certainly our effort – the democratic changes necessary for Cuba to meet the basic qualifications. But of course, we look forward to the day when all 35 countries in the region can participate in the summit process.