Friday, June 05, 2009

OAS to Lift Ban on Cuba

After intense discussion that pitted nations against one another, the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed to allow Cuba to become a member of the OAS provided that Cuba meet requirements on democracy and human rights. Cuba has been banned from the OAS for 47 years. As described in the Washington Post, the Cuba issue had Nicaragua and Venezuela threatening to quit OAS and forced the U.S. to make compromises.

The OAS consists of 35 nations of the Western Hemisphere (North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean) that aim to strengthen democracy, promote human rights, and find solutions to problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs, and corruption. Member states are listed here; as you can see, Cuba is currently listed as "excluded" from the organization.

The OAS has not yet posted an updated statement about Cuba to its website. You can read a U.S. perspective on the decision in this press release from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The OAS website provides a number of resources on topics affecting the Americas (see the "OAS Sectors and Topics" box at the top of each OAS web page). For additional resources, check out our portal to international organizations.

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