At the summit of the Group of 77+China, held June 14-15 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, [Uruguayan] President José Mujica took a key step toward an improvement in U.S.-Cuba relations and the end of the embargo that the U.S. has maintained against the island for more than 50 years, reports [the weekly] Búsqueda this morning [June 19].
In his official trip to Havana in 2013, during which he met with Raúl and Fidel Castro, Mujica put on the table the possibility of accomplishing a rapprochement with Washington. A few months later, on May 12, after a well-reported meeting with Barack Obama, the Uruguayan president carried back the news that Obama has the intention of reaching an “accord” with Cuba.
“I have two years left. This is the moment,” Obama reportedly told Mujica in Washington.
One month later, on Saturday 14 June, during a dinner at the summit in Bolivia, President Mujica approached his Cuban counterpart and spent several minutes facilitating a rapprochement between the two countries.
According to Búsqueda, Castro appeared interested in the proposal, and there were signs of distension and good will on the part of the Cuban leader.
After the meeting, President Mujica left in quite an optimistic mood, official sources told the weekly newspaper.
Several interested parties desire to bring down the blockade, which was imposed in 1960. Fifty-two percent of the Cubans living in Miami, who always pressed in favor of the embargo, now speak against it, the Madrid newspaper El País reported on Wednesday [June 18].
And several prominent U.S. businessmen, such as David Rockefeller, sent President Obama a letter asking that the embargo be terminated.