Cuba Politics

OAS lifts Cuba suspension but Cuba will have to make changes to rejoin

Posted June 03, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.

By Bill Faries and Matthew Walter | Bloomberg

The Organization of American States scrapped a 1962 resolution that suspended Cuba from the group as the U.S. fell short in an effort to require Raul Castro’s government to meet democratic standards before being invited back.

Representatives of the OAS’s 34 member countries reached the agreement by acclamation during a plenary session of the group’s general assembly in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Delegates applauded and gave a standing ovation after the decision.

“This is an important message to the entire world,” Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said. “We’re entering a new era of brotherhood and friendship.”

Cuba, the only country in the hemisphere that isn’t a democracy, was suspended from the multilateral body because of its links to the Soviet Union and communism, and Latin American leaders have been urging President Barack Obama to renew U.S. ties to the island. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday as she was leaving the summit that she couldn’t muster support for a U.S. proposal to allow Cuba’s membership to go forward only after the country met democratic standards.

“In terms of what Clinton said she wanted, the U.S. failed,” said Susan Purcell, director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami. Purcell said she expects Latin American governments and U.S. lawmakers to step up efforts to end the U.S.’s 47-year-old economic embargo.

OAS Standards

Clinton issued a statement after the OAS decision today saying that Cuba still needs to meet the OAS’s standards for democracy and human rights before it can reclaim membership.

“I am pleased that everyone came to agree that Cuba cannot simply take its seat and that we must put Cuba’s participation to a determination down the road, if it ever chooses to seek re- entry,” Clinton said. “Many member countries originally sought to lift the 1962 suspension and allow Cuba to return immediately, without conditions.”

The Washington-based OAS is a forum for countries of the Western Hemisphere that discusses issues of democracy, human rights and poverty, according to the organization’s Web site.

Today’s agreement makes the 1962 suspension “null and void” and says Cuba’s participation in the organization “will be the result of a process of dialog initiated by the Cuban government and in conformity” with the principles of the OAS, according to a translation of the document in Spanish.

“We are ending an anachronism, an injustice, a discrimination that dates back to the Cold War,” Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana told delegates.

Common Sense

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters the OAS decision shows that “common sense is still alive.”

Obama’s administration has relaxed restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba put in place under President George W. Bush and initiated talks on migration and direct mail links between the two countries.

“From the Latin Americans’ point of view, they didn’t care about that,” Purcell said. “They want the embargo lifted. The things that Obama did were seen by Latin Americans as not terribly relevant.”

Member Comments

On June 03, 2009, publisher wrote:

Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Dobbs Ferry, NY

For information, contact John McAuliff
phone 914-674-3696, 917-859-9025, 914-674-3696
For Immediate Release
OAS Makes History, Opens Door to Real Reconciliation Between US and Cuba

Dobbs Ferry, NY   “The Assembly of the Organization of American States has taken an historic step forward in deciding by consensus to end the cold war exclusion of Cuba,” said John McAuliff, Executive Director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development.
“In so doing, the OAS demonstrated at San Pedro Sula its independence from strong pressure by the US.  It sent an unambiguous signal to the Obama Administration and Congress about the need for US normalization with Cuba.”
“As significant, the US demonstrated that it was capable of really listening to the convictions of its neighbors and of reconsidering a politically difficult position.  Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon graciously expressed US support for the resolution at this afternoon’s plenary session and received the afternoon’s warmest applause.”
McAuliff noted that, “Shannon’s words stood in dramatic contrast with statements as recently as last night which suggested the US would prefer no resolution to one that did not make Cuba’s return conditional on changing its practices of democracy and human rights.”
McAuliff said, “the door is now open for more substantive changes in US policy.”  He urged the Obama Administration to, “step forward in the same spirit by using its authority to end all restrictions on non-tourist travel and by supporting legislation in Congress to allow all travel.”
He called for, “the Castro Administration to also reconsider its previous position and take an active role in the OAS.  Moreover, when the US ends all restrictions on the travel of its citizens, Cuba should do the same by abolishing the use of exit visas.”
Additional analysis at

[The Fund for Reconciliation and Development was founded in 1985 to bring about normal US relations with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and, for the past decade, Cuba.  John McAuliff visits Cuba regularly, most recently in January and May of 2009.  He has strongly advocated US support for ending Cuba’s suspension from the OAS without conditions.]


John McAuliff
Executive Director
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
145 Palisade Street, Suite 401
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522


917-859-9025 (mobile)

On June 03, 2009, paul wrote:

The OAS would be reduced to nothing without our funding.Like the UN, which we also created.

On June 04, 2009, Cubana wrote:

“Like the UN, which we also created”

Err…no. The UN was set up by the Soviet Union. Alger Hess, who was one of Franklin D Roosevelt’s advisers drew up the UN charter. Hess was unmasked as a Soviet spy when Kremlin papers became available in the 1990’s.

On June 04, 2009, Cubana wrote:

Sorry, that should be Alger Hiss.

On June 04, 2009, bernie wrote:

” Democratic Standards”
Does Clinton mean that Cuba should have a prison, such as the likes of Guantanamo Bay that the US is operating on Cuban soil?????

On June 04, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

No, Clinton was probably referring to the infamous Cuban jails like “Combinado del Este”. Unfortunately there are no pictures or much information about it because as we all know there is no freedom of press or speech in Cuba.

On June 04, 2009, grant wrote:

Now if we could just get the USA to pay it’s UN bills. Poor Hiss another of Nixon’s frauds. But hey Nixon was not a crook. right?

On June 04, 2009, publisher wrote:


Cuba’s communist government on Thursday declared a “major victory” following the landmark decision by the Organization of American States (OAS) to lift its 47-year exclusion of the Caribbean island.

The OAS vote is “a great victory for Latin America and the Caribbean and also for the Cuban people,” said Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba’s National Assembly, in the Cuban government’s initial reaction to the decision.

The OAS cleared the way on Wednesday for Cuba to rejoin the hemispheric body, revoking Havana’s nearly half century old suspension for joining the Soviet bloc.

The move, supported by the U.S. in a surprise consensus vote at an OAS general assembly meeting in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was hailed as a historic development by Latin leaders as well as by U.S. officials in Washington.


Interesting. I didn’t think Fidel wanted to be in the OAS. He called for it to be dissolved a month or two ago. Now the OAS decision is being used as propaganda but we all knew that would happen.

On June 04, 2009, grant wrote:

The OAS was very happy to have latin american dictators as members(Argentina, Chile, etc.).  if the USA was in agreement, this is the first time that the USA was ignored by their dependents. Never more?

On June 04, 2009, paul wrote:

Yep, I’m using Wikipedia but who cares.

The Soviet Union took an active role in the United Nations and other major international and regional organizations. ****At the behest of the United States****, the Soviet Union took a role in the establishment of the UN in 1945.

The UN was founded as a successor to the League of Nations, which was widely considered to have been ineffective in its role as an international governing body, as it had been unable to prevent World War II. The term “United Nations” was first used by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt,[2] in the 1942 Declaration by United Nations, which united the Allied countries of WWII under the Atlantic Charter, and soon became a term widely used to refer to them. Declarations signed at wartime Allied conferences in 1943 espoused the idea of the UN, and in 1944, representatives of the major Allied powers met to elaborate on the plans at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference.[3] Those and later talks outlined the organization’s proposed purposes, membership, organs, and ideals in regards to peace, security, and cooperation.

On June 04, 2009, publisher wrote:

Cuba has made a statement that it will not rejoin the OAS.

In Fidel speak that means “Who asked you to get our suspension lifted?”

See, Fidel does not want the Embargo lifted. He does not want to be in the OAS.

His job is to keep people poor and afraid of capitalism and democracy.

Fidel is very good at his job.

On June 04, 2009, paul wrote:

The embargo isn’t the issue. Cuba already purchases plenty from the USA, it’s credit access. He wants to default on US companies…and steal from them TWICE.

On June 04, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

The US was not ignored by anybody. The three Castro puppets (Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua) were there making lot of noise about creating a new body without USA and Canada. However, when they realized that they did not have support for their motion, they moved on with the one that was proposed by the US led by Hilary.

Earlier this month the Obama administration was the one that indicated their interest in looking to readmit Cuba back to the OAS so I do not see what all this noise is for.

On June 04, 2009, grant wrote:

NOT credit but two way trade sr. paul. Like Cuba does with Canada, i.e.  $1.6 billion a year with Cuba buying 850,000 a year.

On June 04, 2009, paul wrote:

Um HELLO, Cuba bought more than 800 million in goods from the US in 2008.

On June 04, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Paul those are all exports by the U.S. Trade means BUYING and selling between two countries. What does the U.S. buy from Cuba?

On June 05, 2009, Cubana wrote:

What would US citizens WANT to buy from Cuba if they were allowed to legally? A few cigars and some rum. They have nothing else worth buying that is not better made or cheaper elsewhere. That has been the problem ever since 1959 - the revolution has never paid its way in the world and has had to be subsidised by someone, whether the Soviet Union or Venezula.

On June 05, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Duuuu, Nickel,copper,rum,tobaco etc.