The Obama administration doesn’t see Cuba as fit for membership in the Organization of American States yet.
In congressional testimony Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Cuba shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin the group until it moves toward democracy, frees political prisoners and stops violating human rights.
“Any effort to admit Cuba into the OAS is really in Cuba's hands,” she said. “They have to be willing to take the concrete steps necessary to meet those principles.”
The OAS meets June 2 in Honduras, and some members want the group to reverse Cuba’s expulsion, which came in 1962 following Fidel Castro’s ascension to power in a communist revolution.
“If Cuba is not willing to abide by [the charter's] terms, then I cannot foresee how Cuba can be a part of the OAS, and I certainly would not be supporting in any way such an effort to admit it,” Clinton said.
“We're hoping that the members of the OAS will abide by their own charter.”
The Obama administration has loosened some of the U.S. sanctions against Cuba. But it has demanded that Raul Castro’s government respond to those gestures with reforms before going any further.
The government’s unwillingness to embrace democracy certainly isn’t doing Cuba’s economy any good.
Havana University’s Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy says the economy could shrink this year.
Foreign businessmen and diplomats say the government has failed to pay them, and banks say they have little foreign currency in their vaults, Reuters reports.
On Monday, the Communist Party newspaper Granma warned that citizens are consuming too much energy, and electricity blackouts are coming.
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