After his visit to the island, Santos said that an agreement could not be reached and that Cuba will not participate in the 2012 Summit of the Americas during which leaders from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean will discuss important social, economic, and political topics.
“We discussed the issue of the participation of Cuba in the Summit which will take place in Cartagena. As we have said from the beginning, this is an issue that requires consensus, a consensus that unfortunately we have failed to find,” said Santos after meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The Colombian president has found himself in a tough place between the U.S. and Latin American allies of Cuba. While a number of countries believe that Cuba is an important member of Latin America and the Caribbean, Washington asserts that Cuba is not a democracy and therefore should not be included in the Summit.
The Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Latin America — consisting of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela — are expected to pronounce whether they will carry out their threat to boycott the Summit of the Americas if Cuba is not present.