By Circles Robinson
HAVANA, May 8 – The special assistant for Latin America of the president of the United States, Daniel Restrepo, in statements to the press in Washington ruled out that the White House would lift its half-century blockade against Cuba, claiming the government of Raúl Castro has not carried out positive steps regarding the fundamental rights of the Cuban people.
Restrepo recalled that the Barack Obama administration in 2009 lifted the travel restrictions of the Cuban-American community and established talks with Havana on issues such as immigration, reported IPS.
The travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans were an internal US issue as is the still in force travel ban that prohibits ordinary US citizens from visiting Cuba without a special Treasury Dept. license. The talks on immigration reached no new accords.
Recently US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poured cold water on any hopes for a thaw in Washington’s half century aggressive policy towards Cuba when she said it was the Cuban government that wants the half-century blockade to continue.
Havana, which has denounced the blockade at every possible international forum, responded by challenging Clinton to lift the unilateral blockade and see what happens.
The considerable money donated to both Democratic and Republican party officials and candidates by Miami exile groups as well as the lucrative business involving hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out the US anti-Cuba policy, leaves many politicians little incentive to achieve a restoration of diplomatic ties and end hostilities began shortly after the 1959 Cuban revolution.