Thursday, March 31, 2016

Financial ties with U.S. still far from normal, Cuba says

Financial ties with U.S. still far from normal, Cuba says
Published March 30, 2016 EFE

Cuba and the United States still do not enjoy "normal" financial ties,
the island's foreign minister said in comments posted Wednesday on the
official Web site Cubadebate.

Bruno Rodriguez says that the executive actions approved recently by
President Barack Obama to ease the U.S. economic embargo on the island
have remained a "mere announcement."

The latest package of measures, announced a few days before Obama's
March 20-22 visit to the island, eliminated the prohibition on Cuba's
use of the dollar in its international transactions, one of the main
impediments for foreign companies who wanted to do business with Cuba.

"I can affirm that at this moment there are no normal financial
transactions," said Rodriguez, who emphasized that Cuban banks remain
unable to open accounts in the United States.

Despite the current process of normalization between the two countries,
who resumed diplomatic relations last July after a hiatus of more than
50 years, "the blockade (embargo) continues to be a suffocating
reality," said Rodriguez.

Cuba's top diplomat said that normal links will not be a reality as long
as the United States continues to occupy the territory of the Guantanamo
Naval Base or finances programs to try and "alter the prevailing
constitutional order" in the communist country.

In addition, he insisted that the United States maintains "intact its
strategic objectives to dominate Cuba economically and politically."

"The speeches can be pleasant, even sincere, but a friendly phrase, a
smile, and a sympathetic gesture cannot cause a long history to be
forgotten," said the foreign minister referring to the words that Obama
directed to the Cuban people on March 22.

In one of the key moments of his visit to the island, Obama asked Cubans
to forget old quarrels and look to the future, at the same time that he
emphasized that Cubans will decide the destiny of their country.

Rodriguez emphasized that his country is ready for dialogue and
cooperation with the United States, albeit without renouncing "by a
millimeter the principles of the Revolution, or its independence." EFE

Source: Financial ties with U.S. still far from normal, Cuba says | Fox
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