Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cuba - US Embargo A Key Obstacle To Full Normalisation Of Ties

Cuba: US Embargo A Key Obstacle To Full Normalisation Of Ties

HAVANA, July 21 (BERNAMA-NNN-EFE) -- Ending the decades-old U.S.
economic embargo is a top priority for Cuba on the one-year anniversary
of the resumption of full diplomatic relations, a senior official said

In an interview with Communist Party daily Granma, the Cuban Foreign
Ministry's North America director, Josefina Vidal, said the process of
fully normalizing bilateral relations would be "long and complex" and
could only occur if the embargo, imposed in 1962, is eliminated.

Vidal, the island's chief negotiator since the U.S.-Cuba thaw began in
December 2014, added that the embargo's "dissuasive and punitive
components" still were having a negative impact on Cuba's economy.

President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March was "an important step"
toward improving relations and an opportunity to present the island's
position on "priority" and sensitive issues on their bilateral agenda
such as human rights, she said.

Asked how much more Obama can achieve before leaving the presidency in
January, she said Cuba was looking to see him use all executive powers
at his disposal to change existing U.S. policy and ensure the continuity
of this new bilateral stage.

"In short, (the president) can do much more to make the process
irreversible going forward," Vidal said of Obama, whose administration
has already taken steps such as restoring direct postal service between
the United States and Cuba and giving U.S. airlines approval to provide
service to the island as early as the fall.

Referring to the impact the upcoming U.S. presidential election would
have on the bilateral dialogue, she said the island was hopeful the next
head of state would heed the wishes of the U.S. public, adding that
Americans support the shift in policy toward Cuba by "a very wide margin."

On July 20, 2015, the two former Cold War enemies culminated the initial
stage of their bilateral thaw by upgrading their respective interests
sections to embassies.


Source: BERNAMA - Cuba: US Embargo A Key Obstacle To Full Normalisation
Of Ties -

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