HAVANA, April 9 (Reuters) - Cuba will only return to the Organization of American States, from which it was suspended 36 years ago, on its own terms, the communist government said on Thursday.
"We will return to the OAS when they accept us without any type of condition, with all the respect our country deserves, and when they give us back the seat they took away from us,'' Foreign Ministry spokesman Alejandro Gonzalez told reporters.
Calls for Cuba to be allowed back into the 34-member hemispheric body have been growing in recent months, led by Mexico, Brazil, Canada and small countries from Central America and the Caribbean.
But the United States remains opposed to the idea and some nations in the region that sympathize with Cuba do not want to risk contradicting Washington's position.
Cuba was suspended from the OAS two years after Fidel Castro's Marxist revolution triumphed in 1959. The Caribbean state is the only nation in the region to be excluded from the body, which requires all member states to have democratic rule.
The OAS takes its decisions by consensus, not majority, meaning one member can veto any decision.
Gonzalez, who was speaking at a weekly media briefing, said that despite the debate going on throughout the region over Cuba's status, the government had not made any formal request to be allowed back to the OAS.
OAS chief Cesar Gaviria said last month he hoped to "gradually integrate'' Cuba back into the body since Pope John Paul's visit to the island in January had created a new climate for examining the issue.