US Signal on Cuba Relations Shift

HAVANA TIMES, March 20 — As Costa Rica moved to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, and with El Salvador headed in that same direction, the United States signaled on Thursday its approval.

Thomas Shannon, the assistant Secretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs, said in Honduras that his country sees the rapprochement reached between the two Central America countries and Cuba as “important.”

The statement was noteworthy considering that back in the early 1960s it was the United States that pressured Latin American countries to unilaterally break ties with Cuba in an effort to isolate the young revolution and topple its government. Mexico was the only country that didn’t buckle to the arm twisting.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias announced earlier in the week that the time had come to restore the relations with Cuba, broken off back in 1961.

Likewise, Salvadoran president-elect Mauricio Funes told the press that he would meet his campaign promise to restore bilateral relations with Cuba.

Shannon said the Obama administration is reviewing aspects of its Cuba policy and considering “other steps towards rapprochement with the island.” However, he didn’t reveal any details as to what concrete steps the new US government might take.