Cuba, as always, was not invited to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia this weekend. But its participation at future meetings could become a major issue.
• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, cuba.foreignpolicyblogs.com. The views expressed are the author's own.
This weekend’s Summit of the Americas may not include representation from Cuba, but Cuba is by no means absent from the summit.
Leading up to the meeting, general policy toward the island appeared to be the most significant issue dividing the Hemisphere: Latin American nations saw Cuba’s continued exclusion from the summit as counterproductive, while the United States insisted that as long as Cuba continued to fail to meet the democratic requirements of the Organization of American States, its leaders could not be involved in any of the organization’s events (including the Summit of the Americas). With diplomatic aplomb, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos solved the issue by proposing to make Cuba’s future participation a topic for discussion at the Summit.
So Raúl Castro is not in Cartagena, but the nations of the Hemisphere are discussing whether he could be invited in the future. And the leaders of the countries of ALBA that were threatening not to show up to the summit actually agreed to attend following this resolution (all except Rafael Correa of Ecuador). The way is paved for the United States to maintain its opposition respectfully, while stepping aside to allow future policy to be determined by the apparent consensus of most all other countries in the Hemisphere.