By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 14 – U.S. President Barack Obama signed today the continuation of the embargo against Cuba for another year, “in the national interest of the United States,” according to a memorandum sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, reported IPS.
Obama is the 11th consecutive US administration to maintain an economic stranglehold on Cuba hoping to force political changes on the island by creating economic difficulties for the population.
Cuba calls the embargo a blockade and has documented over US $93 billion dollars in damage caused over the last half century.
The move to maintain the status quo is characteristic of the mixed signals from the administration, despite the president’s campaign promises to engage supposed “US enemies.”
Thus far Obama has not agreed to broad talks without pre-conditions as called for on numerous occasions by Cuban President Raul Castro.
The two countries representatives did meet once to discuss migration issues and may soon meet to consider reestablishing postal service.
Havana Times commentator Alfredo Prieto has noted that the US administration has moved slowly to create rapprochement with Cuba.
Obama has also maintained the prohibition that keeps ordinary US citizens from visiting Cuba.
Different bills currently before congressional committees would end the travel ban. Obama has not said whether he would sign or veto such legislation.