The Organization of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro said that lifting the suspension on Cuba was only the first step in issuing a larger apology.
The Organization of American States owes Cuba an apology for decades of exclusion from the regional organization, the OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro, admitted, the official Mexican news agency Notimex reported on Thursday.
Dropping the suspension and accepting Cuba into the OAS was an important step but now enough to settle the organization’s historical debt to the Caribbean island, Almagro said.
“The organization has been unfair to Cuba and this definitely affects much of the future agenda,” said Almagro, according to Notimex.
The statements come on the one year anniversary of the first landmark step in the normalization of frozen diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. On Dec. 17, 2014, Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama both officially announced the beginning of a process to reestablish diplomatic ties.
In April 2015, Cuba was invited to and attended the OAS Summit of the Americas for the first time since it was suspended from the organization in 1962. The suspension was officially lifted in 2009.
But for Almagro, this was a very generic way of issuing an apology to Cuba, since the OAS did not take responsibility for the “logic of persecution” that determined its policy toward Cuba for so many years.
Almagro said the OAS will “always emphasize” that the hemispheric organization “owes an apology to Cuba for its suspension” in 1962.
The U.S. removed Cuba from its list of state of sponsors of terrorism in May, paving the way for Cuba to reopen its embassy in Washington on July 20 and the U.S. to reopen its diplomatic mission in Havana on Aug. 14 after 54 years.
While the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations this year has been historic, talks are ongoing and diplomatic challenges still remain.
Cuba has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. end the economic blockade against the island, return the U.S. naval-occupied territory of Guantanamo, and respect the Cuban sovereignty by halting all funding of anti-government groups.