Senator Marco Rubio Returns From Summit of the Americas

Rubio met with Paraguay President Fernando Lugo and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.

By Karen Franklin
|  Sunday, Apr 15, 2012  |  Updated 2:03 PM EDT
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Florida Senator Marco Rubio returned from the Summit of the Americas in Colombia Sunday after speaking with South American presidents and Cuban exile leaders.

During the trip, the senator said that participation at the summit, which is held to discuss common policy issues, was contingent on democratic values.

"The summit is a meeting of democratic nations and a tyranny like Cuba has no place at that table," Rubio said. "If Cuba truly wants a seat at the table among all its Western Hemisphere neighbors, then it should reject totalitarianism, free all political prisoners and offer all Cubans a seat at the table of a truly representative democracy."

Rubio also met with Paraguay President Fernando Lugo and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and spoke to members of the Colombian Congress. He also delivered a letter from the Ladies in White to several presidents, which asked that the leaders exclude Cuba from the summit "as long as the regime continues to deny the Cuban people the freedoms enjoyed by others."

"I hope democratic change does come to Cuba so that the next time a summit is held, we will be joined by a freely elected Cuban leader," Rubio said.

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