HAVANA TIMES — Barack Obama appointed an ambassador to Cuba on Tuesday, in an effort to continue moving forward the new US policy with Cuba.
However, with less than four months to go in his presidential term the chances are slim that the Senate will confirm the nomination of Jeffrey De Laurentis, who has served as the head of mission of the US Embassy in Havana since it reopened as such in July of 2015.
Obama praised De Laurentis for his role in working towards the normalization of relations between the two countries that began with joint announcements by Raul Castro and Obama in December 2014.
In March 2016, Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution.
“The naming of an ambassador is a step of common sense towards a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries,” said Obama in defending his decision to go ahead with the nomination.
Confirmation of De Laurentis, a career diplomat, faces stiff opposition from hardliners within the Republican Party led by Senators of Cuban origin including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.