Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba after 48 years

Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba after 48 years San Jose, Costa Rica  - Costa Rica plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, which were broken in 1961 when the communist island was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS).

"The time has come to re-establish relations with Cuba, as happened in our relationship with China," Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said Wednesday.

The Central American nation restored relations with Beijing in June 2007, and dropped ties with Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province.

Arias stressed that the decision to re-establish relations with Havana is a "sovereign" decision that had required a lot of thought.

He noted that his government seeks an international diplomacy that aims to "open paths" and "build bridges."

"We want to be know around the world for our friendship and not for our unfriendliness," he said.

San Jose changed its policy towards Cuba as centre-left governments are advancing across Latin America, most recently with Mauricio Funes' electoral triumph Sunday in El Salvador.

In Central America, only El Salvador and Costa Rica had no ties with Cuba. (dpa)