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Bolivia president proposes sanctions on U.S. for its blockade on Cuba
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08:46, December 18, 2008

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Bolivian President Evo Morales Wednesday asked Latin American countries to impose economic sanctions on the United States if Washington refuses to lift its blockade against Cuba.

Speaking at the first Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development (SLAC), Morales also proposed that Cuba be readmitted to the Organization of American States (OAS), or establish a new OAS without the United States.

"I'm very frank, because I come from the struggle of indigenous people that fought against all empires. It would be important to set up a time limit, not to buy or not to sell to the United States, to withdraw our ambassadors until the U.S. withdraws the blockade" against Cuba, he said.

Morales clarified that this position does not mean that the government is against private property, but denounced the concentration of capital in few hands.

"We have two paths, or we should change the capitalist economic model or we have to push forward new revolutionary movements in our continent. Impositions from above and outside have never been solutions for my country," he added.

Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 under a decision pushed by the United States on the ground that its political system was "incompatible" with the inter-American system.

On Tuesday, Cuba became officially a member of the Rio Group, the sole mechanism of political consultation in the region.

Meanwhile, in her speech at the summit on Wednesday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner proposed establishing a regional decision-taking system.

"The main problem we have here in Latin American and the Caribbean is that we lack a decision-taking system," she said, adding that it is necessary to go beyond speeches and reflections that characterize some regional summits.

For the Argentine president, the current international crisis is not just financial and economic, but rather political.

"It is not only necessary to change the rules of international financial institutions, but the worst thing is that the rules are only respected by weaker countries, not the powerful," she added.

The first SLAC beginning on Tuesday brings together 33 heads of government, state and delegates from South America, Central America and the Caribbean for a two-day forum in a Brazilian luxury tourist complex to discuss regional integration et development issues.


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