Education ministers of Spanish-speaking countries meeting in Quito, Ecuador, have accepted a membership application from Cuba to join the Andres Bello Agreement.
The agreement, established 25 years ago, promotes the educational, scientific, technological and cultural integration of the member countries. Originally consisting of Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela, it was later joined by Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Spain and Panama.
Cuba's membership application is seen as an important step in Cuba's reintegration into the Latin American fold. Although formal approval will only be given at the next meeting, scheduled for May 1997, Spanish education minister Jeronimo Saavedra revealed that the ministers had reached a "consensus" approving Cuba's eventual admission and has notified the Cuban authorities.