The Obama Administration Could Do Much More to Limit the Blockade on Cuba

October 1, 2016

Josefina Vidal

Josefina Vidal

During a Q&A session on Twitter, the U.S. department head of MINREX, Josefina Vidal, noted that the U.S. president could, for example, approve the exports of more products to Cuba, authorize U.S. investments in the Caribbean nation and normalize banking relationships.

Vidal stated that despite Obama’s announcement to allow use of the U.S. dollar in Cuba’s international transactions, the Caribbean island has so far been unable to make payments to third nations in dollars or to make cash deposits.

Although in the area of telecommunications there has been some improved measures made  difficulties remain such as the barriers making it impossible for Cuba to access dozens of Internet sites and services belonging to U.S. companies she said.

Vidal went on to add that regardless of the recent restoration of regular flights between the two countries U.S. citizens still cannot visit Cuba freely because of the blockade.

According to the MINREX official, the opportunities in Cuba for U.S. companies are big, but the real obstacle is the economic, financial and commercial gauntlet the Cuba faces.

Vidal highlighted that the two nations have signed six new cooperation agreements in sectors of mutual interest such as law enforcement, seismic monitoring, the exchange of meteorological information, protected marine areas, search and rescue operations and the response to oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida.

” If possible These agreements will be adopted before the end of the year.’ she said.

After responding to some questions from Twitter users, Vidal said that there is still a long way to go before there can be full normalization between the two countries.

She added that the fifth and final meeting of the Cuba-United States Bilateral Commission of the Obama Administration will take place in December, but Havana maintains its interest and willingness to continue that mechanism in the future.

According to Vidal, Cuba expects that regardless of the results of the upcoming elections in the United States, the elected president will continue to work towards normalization of relations.

“Our will and aspirations are that the process that started on December 17, 2014 will become irreversible. We have been working in that direction. We will see what the future tells us about that,” Vidal concluded.

Source: Prensa Latina