Cuba Hopes the Next US President Supports Improved Relations

Josefina Vidal. Photo: Ismael Francisco/
Josefina Vidal. Photo: Ismael Francisco/

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government hopes that the next president of the United States maintains the policy of rapprochement between the two countries, said Cuba’s top negotiator Josefina Vidal on Monday, reported dpa.

There are many sectors in the US that have “a great interest in the relations with Cuba,” said Vidal at the end of a new round of talks between representatives of the two governments held in Havana.

“One would think that whoever is the next president of the United States, will take public opinion into account,” she added.

Vidal referred to the business sector and “a good part of the political circles” in the US as supporters of improved relations with Cuba, as well as many non-governmental organizations and the majority of Cuban immigrants in the country.

Vidal, director of US affairs at the Foreign Ministry, was responsible on the Cuban side for negotiating the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to a survey by the US opinion polling firm Gallup, a majority of US citizens now look favorably on the current policy approach to Cuba by the government of Barack Obama. This is the first time in decades that a majority of Americans sees the island in a positive light, said Gallup in February.

The surprise thaw announced by the Obama Administration and the government of Raul Castro in December 2014 meant a shift in decades in convulsive relations between the two countries.

The US and Cuba then resumed diplomatic relations in July 2015, after 54 years of hostilities.

Both countries have since taken several steps to normalize their relationship. Delegations of the two countries met today in Havana to celebrate the third meeting of a bilateral commission created after the reopening of embassies.

This was a “productive meeting” as both sides noted the progress made in recent months, said Vidal. The delegations discussed the increase of official visits between the two countries in recent months, including Obama to Cuba in March, and considered trips in the future, added the diplomat.

The Cuban delegation also reiterated its demand for the lifting of the economic embargo Washington imposed on the island since the early 1960s, as a condition for full normalization of diplomatic relations.

The US will elect the successor to Obama in November with Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton emerging as potential candidates of their parties for the presidency.

Among Republicans, traditionally supporters of a hardline policy with communist Cuba, Trump is of those who did not oppose the new US policy toward the island. Clinton, who was Secretary of State for Obama in his first term supports the restored relations.

11 thoughts on “Cuba Hopes the Next US President Supports Improved Relations

  • May 23, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I pray that you are correct John.
    Cubans employed within the tourism sector have had the opportunity for over twenty years to converse with people from other countries especially Canada from whence about 1.2 million visited Cuba in 2015 (45% of the total). I don’t think that there is a huge difference between talking to Canadians and talking to Americans. Cubans John are well aware that their lives are unnecessarily difficult. Fidel introduced the Stasi trained CDR with the purpose of the State spying upon their daily lives, they know that there is a better world out there and they long to have similar conditions for their own and their children’s future. But the grip of the Castro family regime has not relaxed and they retain total power and control.
    The Soviet Empire lasted seventy three years prior to rotting from within. The Castro regime has learned from that and in consequence is ensuring that the same will not occur in Cuba.

  • May 20, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Sadly, Cuba has suffered through too many dictatorships. I understand all that you say. Perhaps I am a bit more optimistic than you. Harsh dictatorshops have fallen before and it will happen again. At some point, people, regular citizens, discover their lives are unnecessarily difficult. They learn that other people in other countries have a higher standard of living with less sacrifice and labor. They find out their children have opportunities to fulfill to their true potential. Because Cubans are so physically close to the US, I believe that despite all the Castros’ efforts, Cubans identify with Americans (not the US government). Every day, their chances grow to meet and talk with Americans. Now, despite the Castros’ efforts, this is what Cubans want. I’m no expert. However, we saw how quickly the eastern European communist dictatorships fell and how fast the economies adjusted to capitalism. I hope my optimism foreshadows the future for Cuba. Whether I am right or wrong, it’s going to happen eventually. I just think the Cuban people have suffered enough. You know about that than I will ever know and I sincerely appreciate you sharing with me. I just want to live long enough to witness it. Thank you.

  • May 19, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    For once? Sooth is all I say, which is what makes me such a lightening bolt for the wrath of the Castrophilic come-mierdas who frequent these pages.

    Yes, “Ouch” Moses, because it hits true. Of all your candidates on selection, you may not have liked Marco Rubio for his domestic policy, but you know he was right on Cuba.

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