Soon there is to be the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. There is one sticking point that may cause the summit to have less than full participation, the fact that Cuba is not invited. In an act of solidarity with Cuba, and a quite logical position, the ALBA group of nations have stated that they are not interested in attending a Summit of the Americas if all of the Americas aren't allowed to participate. The U.S. is faced with a dilemma, should it put its own internal politics ahead of the interests of the region or will it be respectful to the nations of the Americas and not insist on going on without extending an invitation to one of the region's countries?
If the summit is about regional integration, then Cuba should be invited. It's counterproductive, and counter to the goal of regional integration, to pretend that the island of Cuba is not part of the region. If the US insists on continuing to turn its back on Cuba, then the goal of the summit is political, not truly about what it is stated to be.
What is revealing though, is despite the slanderous accusations in our press calling many of these countries un-democratic and totalitarian, the US officially doesn't believe so. Being that the excuse not to invite Cuba is just that, the US cedes that it considers the often slandered governments of ALBA are democratic.
The choice remains Washington's. Invite Cuba or continue to marginalize itself for its indefensible position on Cuba. CELAC is now a reality, ALBA continues to grow, and along with other organizations, regional integration and development is happening. New opportunities for the nations of the south are being taken advantage of and acted on, and they are able to be worked on respectfully despite differences between the governments and peoples of the Americas.
It's time for the U.S. to recognize that it is not the center of the universe with some sort of divine right to be the judge of others. All nations have problems, and the United States is no exception. Many problems need to be addressed on their own, within each nation, but there are many issues that are better addressed with international cooperation, and that means sitting down and discussing them, together.