EP/14ymedio, Madrid, June 21, 2022 — Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, has reproached the U.S. President, Joe Biden, for not having a policy of his own towards Cuba and for maintaining the “maximum pressure” of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
“President Biden doesn’t have a policy of his own towards Cuba. It shared elements of the previous Democratic government’s policy. If you read the Democratic electoral platform, it contains another policy towards Cuba,” Rodríguez said in a video posted on social networks.
Rodríguez also recalled the electoral promises “in his own voice” of now-President Biden. “He promised U.S. voters and also Cubans living in Florida, but unfortunately the policy applied by President Biden is President Trump’s maximum pressure policy,” he said.
“It’s a policy that not only causes harm and suffering to the Cuban people, that prevents the development of our economy, that encourages irregular emigration to the United States, but it’s also a policy that damages the national interest of the United States,” he said.
During the election campaign, both Biden and Kamala Harris, the current Vice President, announced that they would reverse some of the measures taken by their predecessor in office with respect to Cuba, including limits on remittances, flights and consular services. Those announcements encouraged Havana, which thought that a second thaw would take place, similar to what happened in Barack Obama’s term, in which Biden was Vice President.
However, the White House has strictly complied with its commitment and, in mid-May, it announced the reestablishment of commercial flights to Cuba, which until now arrived only in Havana, the resumption of the family reunification program and the suspension of the $1,000 per quarter limit on remittances.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has argued that these actions are “in support of the Cuban people and in the interests of U.S. foreign policy.”
However, the Administration has maintained the bulk of its policy towards the island, spurred by the repression after the 11J protests, according to senior U.S. officials. The clearest demonstration of that position was the refusal to invite Cuba to the recent Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles.
Last Thursday, Washington announced that it has taken measures to impose visa restrictions on five unidentified Cuban officials due to their links to the trials and the imprisonment of 11J protesters.
These sanctions, according to the statement, are linked to “unfair trials” and the sentences and imprisonment of protesters. According to the U.S. Government, the Cuban authorities “deny citizens their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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