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Last Updated:[20-03-2009 07:12:17 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

El Salvador, Costa Rica to Resume Ties with Cuba, the US Likely to Follow Suit

tradenews Costa Rica and El Salvador have confirmed at separate occasions that they would re-establish bilateral ties with Cuba. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias claimed the world had changed from the past today and therefore they should be able to accommodate new realities by engaging with every country in the region. Whereas for Salvadoran President-elect Mauricio Funes, the leftist leader who would be assuming office on June 1, it is an election campaign promise to the resumption of diplomatic ties with Cuba.

When Fidel Castro took control of Cuba through the revolution of 1959, the US enticed both Central American countries to snap ties with the Communist island nation. El Salvador has not had any formal relations with the island since then, likewise, Costa Rica also detached diplomatically from Cuba in 1961.

Analysts stated Costa Rica’s volte-face was purportedly in response to softening of the US’ relations with Cuba post Obama. Last December at an extraordinary South American summit, Costa Rica had supported Cuba’s inclusion in the Rio Group which now comprises 22 Latin American and Caribbean states.

According to sources, the forthcoming Americas Summit in Trinidad & Tobago which is scheduled to be held on April 17-19 is likely to be a venue for the US to restore ties with Cuba. The summit also happens to be the US President Obama’s first platform to review his country’s relations with each South American nation including Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

Costa Rica, El Salvador and the United States are the only three countries in the region that Cuba has no diplomatic ties. Since Costa Rica and El Salvador have already acknowledged resuming ties with Cuba, it leaves just the US in the region to openly declare its stance.

Obama is sending his Vice President, Joe Biden to Chile and Costa Rica, and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will be heading for Mexico by the end of this month to engage in friendly dialogues with these nations as a run up to the forthcoming summit. Obama is expected to unravel his agenda for Latin America during the next month summit.

By Jose Roy

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