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Consensus on Cuba rejoining eludes OAS so far

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with other officials at a conference of the Organization of American States on Tuesday in Honduras. The host, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, gestures at top.

Associated Press

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with other officials at a conference of the Organization of American States on Tuesday in Honduras. The host, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, gestures at top.

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left an Organization of American States conference in Honduras on Tuesday saying that the group has reached no consensus on moves to allow Cuba to rejoin.

Clinton said before departing for Egypt to join President Barack Obama that a frantic day of negotiations had failed to produce agreement among the 34 members on what to do about Cuba. But she said that the talks would continue in her absence and that a deal was still possible.

The United States had wanted to tie Cuba's potential readmittance to the group to democratic reform. But socialist Latin American leaders wanted to simply revoke Cuba's nearly 50-year-old expulsion from the group.

Clinton allowed that the United States was "pretty much by itself" in demanding that any lifting of Cuba's 1962 suspension from the organization be accompanied by demands for Cuba to move toward democratic pluralism, release political prisoners and respect human rights.

Earlier, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, the host of the meeting, urged that the 1962 resolution that suspended Cuba's membership be revoked during the session, calling its Cold War-era passage and the U.S. embargo on Cuba a "day of infamy" and a grave injustice.

"Friends, it is time to correct that mistake," he told the meeting. "Were we to leave this place without rescinding that decision … we would be colluding with that mind-set of yesterday."

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said the United States is using the OAS as a tool of repression and said Cuba's 1962 suspension was due to the support of former Latin American dictators "imposed and used by the Yankees."

Consensus on Cuba rejoining eludes OAS so far 06/02/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:42pm]

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