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Last two recognise Cuba


COSTA RICA and El Salvador – the only two countries in Central and South America not to have diplomatic relations with Cuba – are to reverse their policies. The Salvadoran President-elect, Mauricio Funes, announced the impending change in his country’s policy at a press conference after being elected on 15 March as the candidate of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. His government will assume power on 1 June, putting an end to 20 years of government by the reactionary Nationalist Republican Alliance.

Following the election in El Salvador, in a surprise announcement, Costa Rican president Oscar Arias abandoned his country’s 48-year subservience to US attempts to isolate Cuba. “I’m taking this step convinced that times change and Costa Rica must change, too,” he said.

That leaves only one government on the American continent that doesn’t recognise Cuba – the United States. The topic, as well as the half-century US blockade on Cuba, are sure to be brought up at the April 17-19 Americas Summit in Trinidad and Tobago, says the Havana Times. The meeting will be Obama’s first with the continent’s leaders.

Meanwhile, the US president met in Washington with Brazil’s President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who reportedly made a pitch to the US leader to set a new, less aggressive, tone to US-Latin American relations and seek dialogue with countries such as Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia.