Cuba Considers End of Blockade Essential for Normal Ties with USA

Havana, Dec 18 (Prensa Latina) The lifting of the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba is essential for a normal relation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said here after one year in which the two countries announced the beginning of the process of normalization of their ties.

Through an editorial, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that after that time, some progress has been made in bilateral ties, and stated that the dialogue that has been sustained confirms the possibilities and convenience for both parties and for the region, to expand cooperation.

During the last year, the restoration of diplomatic relations and the reopening of embassies took place in both countries, on July 20, 2015, which were preceded by the rectification of the unjust designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In addition to the meetings conducted between the heads of State (of Cuba, Raul Castro, and the United States, Barack Obama) and Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, and Secretary of State, John Kerry, other high-level visits between the two countries have taken place, while many of them are the areas in which bilateral cooperation was expanded.

The areas of greatest progress, according to the text, are air and aviation security; search and maritime and aeronautical rescue; and fighting drug trafficking, illegal migration, smuggling and immigration fraud, while others new areas were opened for the common benefit.

However, there has been little tangible results in the economic and commercial field, the editorial says.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the measures taken by President Barack Obama, although they are positive, have proved a limited scope and have prevented further progress.

To reverse this trend, Obama, using his executive powers, should decisively expand the scope of those measures already taken and adopt new ones, the text says.

Rather than announcing a “new policy,” an essential change is imposed in the U.S. policy towards Cuba, whose historical and legitimate demands of the Cuban people is unknown, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

To achieve normal relations between the two countries, the United States should remove, without any conditions, the economic, commercial and financial blockade that has maintained against Cuba for decades, the Caribbean Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded.

Neither may speak of normalization, while the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo is returned, and other policies of the past that are harmful to Cuba’s sovereignty are removed, the text added.

In the editorial, Cuba reiterated its willingness to continue moving toward improved relations and increased cooperation on issues of mutual interest.

Differences exist and will exist in many areas, but a responsible coexistence based on respect and equality prevails, to build a different relationship, in benefit of both countries and peoples, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.


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