Rowley: Cuba should be included in Americas summit

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THE PRIME MINISTER made a public call for the Summit of the Americas, expected to be held in Los Angeles in June to be “all inclusive,” as the Biden administration in the US expressed intentions to exclude Cuba from the proceedings.

Responding to questions at a post-cabinet press conference on Thursday, Dr Rowley said he believed keeping Cuba out of the summit would “not be the right way” despite differences between the countries.

“Our position is that it should be all-inclusive. We shouldn’t pick and choose who comes to the summit because the Americas is all of us.”

He highlighted the conflicts between the US and Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua but said, despite the differences in styles of governance and circumstance, it would be inclusivity that would allow for all countries in the Americas to work together.

He added that he was part of a Caricom heads of government meeting at midday on Thursday where the matter was also discussed.

“We are trying to come to a consensus,” he said. “We would love to come to have a Caricom position but sometimes it is difficult for us to see eye-to-eye on everything all the time. But, at the end of the day, we are hoping that the idea of the summit is not lost and that the existence of the summit is realised and that we all benefit from it.

Rowley also said TT benefited from a listening ear from the US during his visit to Washington in April.

“The key benefits was that we were listened to,” he said. “The first hurdle you have to cross is to have your story told and to be listened to. And there was great interest in what we had to say.”

In April, the Office of the Prime Minister announced that Rowley would be going to Washington to speak to US President Joe Biden’s special advisor to the 2022 Summit of the Americas in June. The visit was made amid concerns which were raised over terrorist financing and money laundering which could have resulted in undue sanctions based on implications that the region could be vulnerable to such crimes.

The post Rowley: Cuba should be included in Americas summit appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.