PANAMA CITY – Panama has sent the first invitations to a number of countries, including Cuba, for the 7th Summit of the Americas, to be held in the country next April.
The Panamanian foreign ministry on Thursday invited the presidents of Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Honduras, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico.
According to the invitations sent on behalf of Panamanian President Carlos Varela, the summit will aim to renew commitments among regional countries in the region, and achieve greater rapprochement and cooperation among the people of the Americas.
The theme chosen for the conference is “Prosperity with Equality: Challenges of Cooperation in the Americas,” which will help unite the nations against common challenges and also to achieve equal development in the continent, the ministry said in a statement.
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs John Feeley said in October that his country was more interested in the agenda of the summit than Cuba’s presence.
He added that the United States’ “unease” due to the possible presence of Cuba was because of that country’s lack of democracy, civil rights, press freedom, human rights and arbitrary arrests, something that has been criticized by many U.S. administrations.
Member countries of the Organization of American States will also participate in the conference of Panama.