Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa addresses his supporters in the Arbolito Park in Quito, Ecuador, March 22, 2012.
Ecuador has announced that it will boycott the Summit of the Americas in response to a 1959 veto by the US against Cuba’s participation in the meeting as well as the “colonization” of the disputed Malvinas Islands by the UK.
“It is unacceptable [that] in these summits fundamental topics are avoided such as the inhumane blockade of Cuba and the aberrant colonization of the Malvinas Islands,” Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa wrote in a letter to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the summit’s host, on Monday.
“There has been talk of lack of consensus, but we all know that this is the veto of foreign powers,” Correa wrote.
Because of the US veto, Cuba has not been able to take part in the summit, which has been held every three years since 1962.
The US claimed in 1959 that Cuban leaders did not meet the charter requirements of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Only members of the OAS receive invitations to participate in the Summit of the Americas, and the US veto of Cuba’s membership in the OAS effectively barred the Caribbean nation from participating in the summit.
The other declared reason for the Ecuadorian boycott of the Summit of the Americas concerns the Malvinas Islands, which are located some 300 miles off Argentina's coast and home to about 3,000 inhabitants. The islands have been declared as part of the British Overseas Territories since Britain established its colonial rule in the islands in 1833.
However, Argentina has repeatedly dismissed the British claim, saying that London must concede the sovereignty of the islands.
The Summit of the Americas is set to convene in the Colombian city of Cartagena on April 14 and 15.