Colombia defends Cuba's reintegration into Inter-American system

Colombia defends Cuba's reintegration into Inter-American system Madrid - Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Tuesday defended Cuba's reintegration into the Inter-American Community from which the island was excluded in 1962 because of its communist regime. "The process of Cuba's integration into the entire Inter-American Community must begin," Uribe said at an economic forum in Madrid.

The Colombian president arrived in Spain on Tuesday for a two-day working visit, during which he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, King Juan Carlos and entrepreneurs.

Uribe will also receive from the authorities of the city of Cadiz a prize awarded to politicians who have defended freedom, a choice which sparked criticism from human rights activists.

Amnesty International urged Spain to take a tougher stance on human rights violations in Colombia, citing extra-judicial executions, disappearances and forced displacements by the security forces and paramilitary groups with the government's consent.

"Amnesty International should take into account that Colombia lived for many years under the yoke of terrorism," Uribe responded, describing the Colombian army as democratic and transparent.(dpa)

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