In Pictures: Cuba economy
Three years ago, the Obama administration faced a similar situation at an OAS meeting in Honduras. The hemisphere stood united (minus the United States) to revoke Cuba’s 1962 suspension from the OAS, ready to dispatch with bygone, Cold War era divisions. But while the United States chose not to oppose revocation of Cuba’s suspension, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton successfully argued that Cuba must not be automatically readmitted with full rights of participation and voting:
"The member nations of the OAS showed flexibility and openness today, and as a result we reached a consensus that focuses on the future instead of the past: Cuba can come back into the OAS in the future if the OAS decides that its participation meets the purposes and principles of the organization, including democracy and human rights," Clinton said.
The administration’s willingness to compromise on Cuba may have hurt it among staunch anti-Castroites at home. But it mended fences with a skeptical and polarized region that wanted unity more than anything else.