Blockade Obstructs Normalization of Cuba-US Relations

Josefina Vidal delt with key elements of the hostile policy and open confrontation established by that economic, financial and commercial siege by Washington against our country

By: Juventud Rebelde

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2016-10-07 | 14:14:00 EST

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 Guantánamo 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.’’

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