The Americas still divided over Cuba

The divide over inviting Cuba for the future summits was quite stark at the sixth Summit of the Americas. The summit was attended by leaders of the 34 member states of the Organization of the American States.

The focus of the summit talks were the increasing drug issues in the South America, Cuba returning as a member to the Organization of the American states and regional integration.

But what became clear after this two day summit was that, except for USA and Canada every other member state is for Cuba’s return and that USA does not enjoy the kind of influence that it once did. The change of winds of the trade might have something to do with it. Latin America is becoming less and less dependent on US trades and increasingly leaning towards China.

Eva Morales, the president of Bolivia said “It seems the United States still wants to isolate us from the world, it thinks it can still manipulate Latin America, but that’s ending,” when asked about the changing relevance of OAS. He also added saying “What I think is that this is a rebellion of Latin American countries against the United States.”

But Obama was seen handling all the disagreements well. Actually, he was appreciated for handling it better than his predecessors.

President of Mexico said that “I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a president of the United States spend almost the entire summit sitting, listening to the all concerns of all countries”.

U.S suggested that Cuba should make more democratic reforms before it returned to join the Americas. But this was met with disapproval from leftist and conservative states alike. The states feel that US is holding on to what it can from the times of the Cold War.

The influence on regional diplomacy is coming from economics as much as politics. Latin America is no longer just dependent on the US for its trade and development. China is moving in as a strong trade partner. Chinese companies are ready to invest in Brazil and Latin America.

This summit could be sample of the future direction these states will be heading. USA might no longer have the pull it once did.

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