Block­ade ob­structs Cuba-US re­la­tions

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The block­ade con­tin­ues to be a pend­ing is­sue hang­ing over the nor­mal­iza­tion of Cuba-US re­la­tions. The term nor­mal­iza­tion is of­ten used by the in­ter­na­tional me­dia and even by White House spokes­men, which was an­a­lyzed by the MINREX Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the United States Di­vi­sion, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view pub­lished on CubaVSBlo­queo web­site.

“There are still many pend­ing is­sues whose so­lu­tion will take time”, said the of­fi­cial who stressed that “among other is­sues, the block­ade must be lifted, the Naval Base in Guant·namo must be re­turned, the pref­er­en­tial treat­ment given to Cubans by the wet-foot dry foot pol­icy must be mod­i­fied, to­gether with the Cuban Ad­just­ment Act and the Pa­role Pro­gram for Pro­fes­sional Cuban Physi­cians. The il­le­gal ra­dio and TV broad­cast­ing and the use of tech­nolo­gies po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated against Cuba, as well as the sub­ver­sive pro­grams aimed at pro­mot­ing a change of regime in the is­land must be elim­i­nated.”

Asked about what the gov­ern­ments of Cuba and the United States had to do to dis­man­tle that pol­icy of siege. Vi­dal re­called that in Cuba there is no dis­crim­i­na­tion against US com­pa­nies. They can ben­e­fit from busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by our coun­try in equal con­di­tions with com­pa­nies from other coun­tries, and she as­serted that Cuba has taken ad­van­tage of the lim­ited spa­ces of­fered by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s mea­sures: pos­i­tive steps but still in­suf­fi­cient, she re­it­er­ated. “The block­ade and dozens of re­stric­tions de­rived from this pol­icy re­main in force and even slow down the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the mea­sures al­ready ap­proved, she stated.

The Cuban of­fi­cial re­called that the US Pres­i­dent can still ex­er­cise his pre­rog­a­tives more ex­ten­sively to mod­ify other reg­u­la­tions of the block­ade, which would be an im­por­tant step to­ward its dis­man­tling. And, of course, it will be nec­es­sary for the Congress vote for its elim­i­na­tion.

Later Jose­fina Vi­dal added that to have nor­mal eco­nomic ties, other steps should be made by the US, like a pref­er­en­tial treat­ment given to Cuba for trade: for ex­am­ple, the sta­tus of more fa­vored na­tion, and the re­view of the law es­tab­lish­ing the high taxes for the en­try of Cuban prod­ucts into the US mar­ket.

About Barack Obama’s pos­si­ble ac­tions be­fore leav­ing the White House, way be­yond the an­nounce­ments and the lim­ited steps adopted since De­cem­ber 17, 2014, Jose­fina Vi­dal talked about new mea­sures for which he is em­pow­ered which can mod­ify other as­pects of the block­ade. Among them, she re­ferred to the au­tho­riza­tion of more ex­ports from the US, as well as Cuban ex­ports to that coun­try, au­tho­riza­tion of US in­vest­ments in Cuba and the adop­tion of steps to nor­mal­ize fi­nan­cial re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries, as well as the au­tho­riza­tion to open ac­counts in US banks by Cuban fi­nan­cial en­ti­ties. “He could also put an end to the pref­er­en­tial im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy for Cubans and take ef­fec­tive ac­tion to elim­i­nate sub­ver­sive pro­grams against Cuba”, she stressed.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion about the pe­riod af­ter Obama, Vi­dal an­nounced the ex­pec­ta­tions that who­ever the next pres­i­dent will be they should adopt a pol­icy that re­flects the con­sen­sus of Amer­i­can pub­lic opin­ion, in­clud­ing the Cuban em­i­grants in that coun­try, who over­whelm­ingly fa­vor the im­prove­ment of re­la­tions with Cuba.

‘’In­de­pen­dent of what hap­pens in the US af­ter the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions on Novem­ber 8, Cuba will con­tinue with its plans, with the sup­port of the im­mense ma­jor­ity of its peo­ple and of other na­tions of the world, who re­ject the uni­lat­eral and co­er­cive ac­tions like the block­ade, and rec­og­nize the pres­tige gained by our coun­try, as a re­sult of its re­sis­tance, dig­nity and con­tri­bu­tion to peace, and the sta­bil­ity and devel­op­ment of many na­tions.’’Cour­tesy of Cuban Em­bassy Kuwait.

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