Morales: Expel all US ambassadors until US lifts Cuba blockade

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — Latin American nations should expel U.S. ambassadors until the United States lifts its embargo on Cuba, Bolivian President Evo Morales said Wednesday.

Morales made the demand while speaking at a summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders in this beach resort in northeastern Brazil.

Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia in September, accusing him of siding with violent opposition protests.

Both Morales and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez have expressed hopes that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama might end the embargo.

The summit that ends Wednesday has been a victory lap of sorts for Cuba, newly admitted into the Rio Group of Latin American nations, and with President Raul Castro on hand.

Many Latin American nations oppose the U.S. embargo of Cuba, but none has cut ties to the U.S. because of it.

The press attache for the U.S. Embassy in Brazil, Orna Blum, declined to comment on Morales' statement, but said that "our policy toward Cuba seeks the promotion of the peaceful transition to democracy" and said it "reflects a broad hemispheric commitment to democracy and human rights as expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter."

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