A five-day conferences of the Organisation of American states (OAS) ended in bitterness and division on Tuesday (12 November) when it failed, by a narrow margin, to repeal 10-year-old sanctions against Cuba.
GV USA delegate signing
GV Argentine delegate signing
GV Colombian delegate signing
GV delegates seated
GV Chairman, Dr. Lucio Paredes, signing and returning to seat
MV Chairman making closing speech
GV delegates stand and applaud
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Background: A five-day conferences of the Organisation of American states (OAS) ended in bitterness and division on Tuesday (12 November) when it failed, by a narrow margin, to repeal 10-year-old sanctions against Cuba.
Twelve Latin American countries voted for repeal but were blocked by four negative votes and six abstentions. This meant the vote fell two short of the two-thirds majority required under OAS rules.
The twelve disappointed states immediately waned that the failure to lift sanctions seriously compromised the authority of the OAS.
Seven OAS members already ignore the 1964 resolutions and maintain diplomatic and trade links with Dr. Castro's Government. On Tuesday Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela announced that they too would open links with Cuba.
SYNOPSIS: Argentina was in favour of lifting the sanctions, but although twelve countries voted for the move, they did not make up the two-thirds majority needed to implement it. The twelve disappointed nations said that the result seriously compromised the authority of the OAS.
Colombia also voted to remove the restrictions on Cuba. Several countries said the decision meant sanctions would continue without support of the majority of states in the OAS.
Seven members of the organisation already ignore the 1964 resolutions.
The Chairman of the Conference, Dr. Antonio Paredes - who is Ecuador's Foreign Minister - also supported lifting the sanctions. Although only three nations voted against the resolution, it was lost.
Dr. Paredes then closed the Conference which had left the Washington-based organisation badly dented. On the night of the vote, four more members - Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela-announced they would open links with Havana, whichever way the vote went.