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.