Sunday, September 24, 2023

The US “has no will” to improve relations with Cuba

Two years after taking office in the White House, the administration of US President Joe Biden currently has no will to improve relations with Cuba. According to reports, the government in Havana came to this conclusion in a recent interview given by Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cosso to the US broadcaster MSNBC.

“I don’t think there’s really a will to improve the relationship, so they make excuses on the side, so we can’t improve the relationship.”The Cuban official claimed when asked by the media if his country saw any signs from the US government interested in improving bilateral relations.

As the Democratic president’s three-year term is about to expire, relations between Cuba and the United States have changed little. Aside from a few talks on specific issues like migration and the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean between certain working groups, both countries have been far from maintaining smooth communication, as many expected with the current president in the White House. The policy of economic sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump also remained virtually immovable, and Biden promised a change during the 2020 campaign.

During his tenure, Trump reversed the rapprochement with Cuba achieved during the Obama administration, imposed 243 new economic sanctions on the island, and included the Caribbean country on the list of countries supporting terrorism. In 2019, Biden vowed to repeal that policy and promised a new rapprochement with the largest of the Antilles, something the Cuban government has failed to do.

“The United States, contrary to the official promise made by this administration when it came to power, has taken no steps to improve relations with Cuba and is making up excuse after excuse to basically maintain the established policies of the previous government, De Cosso said in the interview.

However, in recent months, there has been speculation that both governments could hold secret talks to achieve some rapprochement and the lifting of unilateral sanctions against the island. However, Cuban authorities have flatly denied this.

“There are no discussions on this issue,” said the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, stressing that the sanctions in question would be “imposed unilaterally by the United States” and, in his opinion, “depend on the government’s willingness towards the United States”. to lift them.”

Cuba has also affirmed that it is ready “to take steps” to show its willingness to engage in dialogue with the current US administration, which, by the way, is running out of time for this current mandate.

“It has to be a comprehensive conversation, a conversation that puts everything on the table to solve the problems between the two countries. It is very difficult to do this while the United States is pursuing policies aimed at stalling the Cuban economy.”

It is no secret to anyone that Biden’s victory over Trump in Cuba’s 2020 election opened the door to hope that a new “normalization of relations” would be possible. As vice president during the Obama administration, Biden witnessed firsthand the secret negotiations between the two countries and later the historic restoration of ties. Quite a few relied on his experience to continue on the path broken off by Trump.

Since coming to power, however, Biden has been consistently reluctant to reach out to Cuba, a gesture many see as poor partisan strategy for winning over Cuba’s disaffected constituency in the United States, particularly Florida-based groups.

After protests were registered in several cities in Cuba on July 11, 2021, the Biden government, which had hitherto been advancing with leaden steps in all directions, decided to return fully to confrontational rhetoric and ordered the island’s authorities to detain protesters and violate the human rights of the Cuban people.

In this sense, Cuba considers that the allusion to these problems is a continuation of the search for an excuse to delay a possible bilateral dialogue.

“Are you talking about prisoners? They only talk about prisoners in Cuba; they don’t talk about prisoners in the United States, which would be an issue we could have a mutual conversation about if it were the will of the United States, the vice chancellor of the republic argued to MSNBC.

However, the official has insisted that “we stand ready to take action” to show the United States its willingness to sit down at the dialogue table, but that, he clarified, it must be “on a mutually beneficial basis.” advantageous relationship”.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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