Cuba refuses OAS membership

Cuba is declining to rejoin the Organization of American States, but calls the group's decision to lift a 47-year suspension against it a "major victory."

Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon told journalists in Havana Thursday the organization's decision to lift the 1962 suspension does not alter what Cuba thought yesterday or the day before.

Before the OAS decision, Cuba said it had no interest in resuming its membership.

The OAS said Cuba's re-entry would be the result of a "process of dialogue" under the group's "practices, proposals and principles" - an indirect reference to human-rights protections and democracy.

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Thirty-four members of the Organization of American States gathered here Tuesday to argue over whether to readmit Cuba. By the end of the day, the United States had failed in an attempt to broker a deal that would have lifted the ban on Havana.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emerged from talks with the foreign ministers of nine North and South American countries after an unsuccessful struggle to hash out a compromise that would have granted Cuba membership, provided its regime accepted democratic principles.