Daily Briefing – April 16, 2018

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Foreign Minister Rodriguez Leads Summit Delegation: Cuban President Raúl Castro announced on Friday that he would not attend the latest Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. In his place, the Cuban delegation is being led by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. While the theme of this year’s summit is dealing with government corruption throughout Latin America, Cuba has come under specific attack by various Latin leaders. Castro joins President Donald Trump, as well as the presidents of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Paraguay, in refusing to attend the summit. Venezuela’s president was not invited. (New Observer)

Cuba Delegation to Attend Jamaican Trade Expo: For the first time, a delegation from Cuba will attend this month’s Expo Jamaica 2018. The Jamaican government hopes to sell Cuba food, beverages, cosmetics, building material and cleaning chemicals, according to JAMPRO, the Jamaican Promotions Corporation. The Cuban delegation of 11 also plans to visit several factories. Jamaica and Cuba has good diplomatic relations but have not been trade partners. (The Gleaner)

OAS Secretary Calls for Pressure on Cuba: Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, urged the governments attending the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima to put more pressure on Cuba to force a regime change. Almagro called for the OAS and it members to implement sanctions, even though Cuba was forced out of the organization in 1962. Almagro said this was merely a suspension, and therefore OAS resolutions still apply to Cuba. (Miami Herald)

Pence Walks Out on Cuban Minister: After denouncing Cuba’s Communist regime, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the session yesterday. Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez had been recognized to offer a rebuttal. After Pence realized that a representative from Cuba was speaking, he briefly conferred with an OAS official and left the session. He departed Lima for Washington later in the day. (News Observer)

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