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Cuba to take part in 2015 Summit of the Americas in Panama

Cuba to take part in 2015 Summit of the Americas in Panama

Posted by Juan Gavasa on December 12, 2014

Cuba has confirmed its participation in the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama on April 10-11, 2015, an official spokesperson told Efe.

Cuba is one of at least seven countries that have "in conversations" verbally confirmed their participation in this hemispheric meeting, along with Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras, a source at the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said.

The Panamanian government announced Dec. 4 that it had invited Cuba to the summit, and the next day the United States said that the Summit of the Americas could have "credibility" even with the presence of Cuba.

Participating in Summits of the Americas are member countries of the Organization of American States, or OAS, to which Cuba once belonged but was suspended for decades. Though the suspension was raised in 2009, the island has not formally asked for its membership to be restored.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said his government has sent invitations to 34 OAS nations and that he hopes all their presidents will attend.

Panama wants the 7th "to be a summit for all the Americas, not just focused on Cuba and the United States," the Central American country's Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie said in late November.

The central theme of the 7th Summit of the Americas is "Prosperity with Equity: the Challenges of Cooperation in the Americas," and the meeting will revolve around the subjects of healthcare, education, the environment, energy, security, migration, democratic governance and citizens' participation.

Four forums will be held within the framework of the summit that will bring together civil society, young people, entrepreneurs and rectors of the best universities of the hemisphere, according to the official report. 

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