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Cuba Will Not Participate in Americas Summit, Santos Says

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March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Cuba will not participate in the Summit of the Americas scheduled for next month, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said today after meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro.

Santos, who also met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today in Havana, said that other countries in the hemisphere had not reached a consensus on whether Cuba should be invited to attend the summit in Cartagena, Colombia, according to a statement on the South American nation’s presidential website.

“I told President Castro that we appreciate his desire to participate in this meeting, but it’s hard to extend an invitation because of the circumstances that did not allow us to reach a consensus,” Santos said, according to the presidential website.

Countries aligned with Chavez last month threatened to boycott the U.S.-backed summit, which President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend, unless Cuba is invited.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net