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Ecuador takes a stand and skips regional summit


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When the Summit of the Americas kicks off Saturday, there will be an empty chair at the table. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he wouldn’t attend this, or any future summit, until Cuba is invited.

The diplomatic row started in February, when Correa tried to rally the ALBA bloc of nations — it’s led by Venezuela and includes Cuba — to boycott the meeting. The United States argues the summit is reserved solely for democracies.

The boycott looked like it might work until Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos flew to Havana to meet Cuba’s Raúl Castro. Santos skillfully passed the buck.

“I’m confident that we can build bridges so that this is the last summit where Cuba is absent,” Santos said in a statement. He has also pledged to work to bring the United States and Cuba closer together.

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