US Blockade Hampers Progress of Relations with Cuba

Havana, Jul 20.- The persistence of the U.S. blockade on Cuba hinders today the progress of the process to normalize bilateral relations, the general director of the United States Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Josefina Vidal, said.

In interview with Granma newspaper, the official stated that after one year of the restoration of diplomatic relations, the deterrent and punitive blockade components, and its extraterritorial reach, still have negative consequences for the island.

Therefore, the lifting of Washington’s unilateral measures is a high priority for Cuba and to resolve that issue to move towards the normalization of relations will be essential, she said.

After assessing what has been achieved in the last 19 months of bilateral contacts, and 12 of diplomatic relations, she stated that the results in priority and interesting issues for Cuba, in the political and diplomatic sphere, cooperation and dialogue in issues of bilateral and multilateral interest, have been achieved.

As for cooperation, she noted that about 10 agreements have been signed and others are in the negotiation process.

However, she described those progress as insufficient, because restrictions on U.S. exports to key sectors of the island’s economy remain, and Cuban products cannot be practically imported in that country.

U.S. investments in Cuba, beyond telecommunications, are not authorized with general license.

So far, to normalize banking relationships have not been possible, while stating that this could afford through executive decisions by President Barack Obama.

The return of the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, the exclusive immigration policy for Cubans, subversive programs, illegal radio and TV broadcasting, are some of those requirements.(Prensa Latina)

Radio Cadena Agramonte, July 20, 2016

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