Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OAS chief denied visa to visit Cuba

OAS chief denied visa to visit Cuba
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 10:38 AM

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Cuban authorities have denied a visa
to the head of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, to
travel to the communist-ruled island to receive a prize from a dissident
organisation, he said Wednesday.

Almagro had been invited to receive a prize named for dissident Oswaldo
Paya, who died in 2012 in a car crash under mysterious circumstances.

"My request for a visa for the official OAS passport was denied by the
Cuban consulate in Washington," Almagro said in a letter to Paya's
daughter Rosa Maria, who organised the ceremony to confer the prize.

Almagro said he was informed by Cuban consular authorities that he would
be denied a visa even if he travelled on his Uruguayan diplomatic passport.

The Cubans conveyed to a representative of Almagro that they regarded
the motive of his visit an "unacceptable provocation," and expressed
"astonishment" at the OAS's involvement in what they deemed anti-Cuban
activities, he said.

Almagro said he asked that the decision be reversed, arguing that his
trip to Cuba was no different from events he had participated in other
countries of the region.

Two other political figures who wanted to travel to Cuba for the award
ceremony — Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon and former Chilean
education minister Mariana Aylwin — said they also had been denied visas.

Cuba was suspended from the OAS in 1962 at the height of the Cold War,
and has declined to return despite having been readmitted in 2009.

Since Cuba's suspension, the only OAS secretary general to visit the
island was Jose Miguel Insulza, a Chilean who attended a Latin American
summit in Havana in 2014.

Source: OAS chief denied visa to visit Cuba - News -

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