Canada Welcomes Consensus Decision to Lift 1962 Suspension of Cuba from Organization of American States

No. 151 - June 4, 2009 (12:30 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today issued the following statement welcoming the consensus resolution lifting the 1962 suspension of Cuba from the Organization of American States (OAS):

“It gives me great pleasure to join with member states of the Organization of American States in a historic decision with significant implications both for the future of the OAS and for the inclusiveness of this hemispheric body.

“I would like to reiterate Canada’s strong support for the democratic principles of this organization. It is our hope that Cuba will embrace these principles. I am pleased that the spirit of consensus—a touchstone convention of this organization—has prevailed in our deliberations.

“This historic resolution lifts the 1962 suspension and sets out a process for Cuba’s eventual return to active participation in accordance with the principles, purposes and practices of the organization. Member states reiterated that our efforts would be guided by the OAS Charter and fundamental instruments relating to democracy, human rights, security, non-intervention, self-determination and development.

“Canada played an active role as a member of the working group in the negotiations resulting in this historic resolution.”

Minister of State Kent is representing Canada at the OAS General Assembly in Honduras.

For more information on Canada’s relations with Cuba, Canada’s membership in the OAS and details on the 39th OAS General Assembly, please consult the following web pages:

Canada-Cuba relations

Canada and the OAS

OAS General Assembly

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-947-8981

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
www.international.gc.ca