Kerry Says Full Democracy is not a Prerequisite for Ending the Cuba Embargo

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: vtv.gob.ve
US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: vtv.gob.ve

HAVANA TIMES — During an interview with Chilean television, US Secretary of State John Kerry said his country’s embargo on Cuba could end “before full democracy exists” on the island, DPA reported.

The US official travelled to Chile to take part in the 2nd Nuestros Oceanos Conference. Kerry also spoke about Venezuela and described it as a “democracy in trouble,” adding that the upcoming parliamentary elections (Dec. 6) would offer a “measure of what sort of democracy it is.”

With respect to relations with Havana, he commented that a “full democracy requires time, but there is progress.”

“For instance, we don’t have full democracy in Vietnam, but we eliminated the embargo because we saw progress (…) There was no democracy in China when we normalized our relations and began to make progress. There has to be a path traced to improve the relationship of the government with its people,” said Kerry.

“Personally, I believe the embargo should be lifted, because it would help the people of Cuba,” he concluded.

Kerry also commented on Germany’s initiative to take in thousands of Syrian refugees and underscored that the United States is the country that welcomes the largest numbers of immigrants in the world.

“What Germany did is take in a group of refugees for a while and offer them security and refuge. But, will they all be able to settle there? I don’t know the answer,” he remarked.

To conclude, the US Secretary of State declared he does not have an opinion on Bolivia’s maritime claims, but said he hoped differences with Chile were settled soon at the World Court. “It would be good for everyone,” he concluded.


7 thoughts on “Kerry Says Full Democracy is not a Prerequisite for Ending the Cuba Embargo

  • October 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    Obama has pushed the argument that his policy of economic & diplomatic engagement with Cuba will somehow bring political reform and an improvement in human rights to Cuba.

    The examples of Vietnam & China prove the argument is wrong. I’m not sure if Obama even believes it himself.

  • October 6, 2015 at 9:48 am
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    The US embargo is not even the real problem:

    “Agricultural exports to Cuba slid from $710 million to $291 million between 2007 and in 2014. In the first seven months of this year, they’ve fallen to $122 million, a 41 percent drop. In July, the only agricultural product that Cuba imported from the United States was poultry, according to the U.S. Cuba Trade and Economic Council.” http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/10/cuba-to-us-we-dont-want-your-food-000263

    The Castro regime controls all imports to Cuba. Therefore, somebody high up in the Cuban government has decided to drastically cut purchases of US goods. My guess is that this is being done as a way to pressure US businesses into demanding the US government lift the embargo. It certainly does put the lie to the bogus claim that shortages in Cuba are caused by the US embargo.

  • October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am
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    It is against Cuban law for foreigners to go into business directly with Cuban entrepreneurs. All foreign investment must go through the Cuban government, which will dictate the terms.

  • October 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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    How can people find Cuban entrepreneurs who are officially licensed by the government? I have researched many places and have no luck in finding names of companies who are legal in Cuba.

    If anyone knows how to obtain such a list, I would great,y appreciate it.

    Best,

  • October 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm
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    Raul needs to get as much as he can from Kerry and Obama. It will get a little harder in 2017.

  • October 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm
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    In fact, becoming a democracy had nothing to do with the lifting of either of these countries US embargoes. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that more democracy for Cuba should not be a goal. One more point, Secretary Kerry does not have a vote in the lifting of the embargo. His position has been well-known for a long time. I am convinced that the Congress will want to see measurable steps towards democracy in Cuba prior to the repeal of Helms-Burton.

  • October 5, 2015 at 10:09 am
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    Could John Kerry please identify the alleged progress China & Vietnam have made towards democracy?

    The US lifted their embargoes on those countries many years ago & now does business with them. But neither China nor Vietnam are any sort of democracy. If he is holding up those 2 Asian countries as examples for a path toward democracy for Cuba, then the examples prove Cuba will never be a democracy.

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