Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (R-Fla.) told Secretary of State John Kerry Cuba should not be allowed to participate in the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Rubio wrote to Kerry on Tuesday, saying the administration has sent mixed messages to the Panamanian government about Cuba’s participation.


“Allowing a country that is a habitual violator of human rights and has not allowed a free election in over 50 years would damage everything that the Summit wishes to accomplish,” Rubio wrote. “Cuba should not be allowed to undermine the commitment to democracy made by the remaining nations of the Western Hemisphere during the Summit process.”

Rubio said the United States should stick to its word. At the 2001 summit, the United States made a formal commitment that a democratic system was an essential condition for a country to be invited to participate. Rubio said Cuba is a nondemocratic system, therefore Panama should not allow Cuba to attend the gathering next year.

“The United States should not stand idly by if Panama does indeed intend to invite Cuba to the Summit,” Rubio wrote. “I urge you to reaffirm the United States’ position that Cuba should only be welcome to participate in the Summit when the Castro regime abandons its repression of the island’s population.”

Rubio is considered a potential GOP presidential nominee in 2016.