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The 5th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will take place January 24-25, in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. “Cuba will attend the event hoping to contribute to strengthening the Community founded in 2011 and in the same way strengthen unity within diversity,” stated the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno, speaking during a January 18 press conference.
The Cuban official emphasized the importance of unity within diversity as highlighted by Army General and President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers Raúl Castro.
He noted that various issues will be addressed during the summit, including key concerns for Cuba. Moreno also stressed the importance of the event with respect to fulfilling the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
The Deputy Foreign Minister noted that in addition to the hope that CELAC reaffirm its position, maintained since its founding, against the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, the island also “hopes that it continues to support Cuba in our demand for the return of the territory currently occupied by the Naval Base in Guantánamo,” he stated.
Moreno went on to note that in past summits the Community has maintained a clear position in opposition to the U.S. government’s “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy, which was officially revoked last January 13. In this regard he said that CELAC should welcome the elimination of the policy and that of the Parole Program for Cuban medical processionals, and at the same time continue to demand an end to the Cuban Adjustment Act.
Moreno also noted that Cuba hopes a consensus recognizing Puerto Rico as a Latin American and Caribbean nation, and its right to independence, will continue to be consolidated; as well as work to develop regional positions regarding nuclear disarmament, development, gender equality, and all issues which have featured on the bloc’s agenda since its creation.