HAVANA, Cuba, Han 20 (acn) A delegation of the Association of Former Members of the U.S. Congress, led by Democrat Ron Sarasin, met on Tuesday with deputies, former deputies and officials of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (ANPP).
The ex-parliamentarians expressed their position against the blockade that their country still maintains against Cuba since, they said, it hampers the normalization of relations.
“We look forward to cooperating freely with Cuba,” said Jim Slattery, former Democrat congressman for the state of Kansas, who explained that there are many areas in which the two countries can work together to obtain mutual benefits.
David Minge expressed interest in marketing products with Cuba, mainly in the area of agriculture and pointed out that it is a must that necessary conditions exist for this to develop satisfactorily.
Peter Smith, who also served as assistant to the director general of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), said that he has always admired the Cuban education system and considered that this type of meetings should have taken place much earlier, although, he said, it is never too late.
After expressing their opinions, they were interested in knowing the vision of the Cuban deputies with regard to the reestablishment of relations between the two countries.
After explaining the operation of the ANPP, as well as the main features of the Cuban political system, parliamentarian Rolando Gonzalez, member of the International Relations Committee, said that, above all, bonds must be based on equality and respect.
For Deputy Irma Shelton, it would be a great dream to see the end of the blockade, because, like many Cubans, she was born under this policy.
The Association of Former Members of the U.S. Congress maintains links with lawmakers in Congress and, therefore, they are facilitators of messages in favor of discussions for the lifting of the blockade on Cuba.
Last year other members of the Association visited the Caribbean island, with a positive balance in support of a change of policy on the part of the U.S. government towards Cuba.