Cuba hopes that the Fifth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will contribute to the strengthening of this body and, by that means, to the strengthening of unity in diversity, which on more than one occasion, Cuban President Raúl Castro , has qualified as essential.
The statements were made to the press by Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno, who also noted, among other issues, that the Island considers the meeting to be of particular importance to the follow-up that it can give to the fulfilment of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
This proclamation, he recalled, not only poses the principle of good neighbourliness between the countries of the region and the need for a peaceful settlement of differences, but also the recognition of all political, economic, social and cultural systems in the region.
In addition, the meeting is expected to maintain among its pronouncements the rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States against Cuba, assumed by CELAC since it began its work, as well as the support to our country in its claim for return of the territory which the US illegally occupies as the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.
Likewise, it is our aspiration to continue consolidating the acceptance by the Community that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean country and that it should be independent and sovereign, he stated.
While CELAC maintained a clear stance against the US policy known as "dry feet-wet feet" in its migratory relations with Cuba, it is expected that the entity will now greet the end of that practice (agreed on the 12th) , as well as the Parole Program for Cuban medical personnel in third countries. At the same time, it is expected that it will continue to demand the end of the Cuban Adjustment Act.
There are many issues to be addressed by the Fifth Summit, including nuclear disarmament, development and gender equality, said Moreno.
The Fifth Summit of the CELAC will take place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on January 25th and will be preceded by the meeting of national coordinators on 21, 22 and 23, and the meeting of foreign ministers, scheduled for the 24th.
According to the Pensando Americas website, the Summit will serve as a framework for a regional meeting of social and progressive forces in the region in which representatives of social, political, trade union, farmer, popular, youth, student and solidarity organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean will participate.
From the meeting must emerge a statement "in defence of the harmony, unity, self-determination and final independence of the peoples of the Patria Grande, and in support of the conclave of leaders."